Jul 8, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Volvo invests in blockchain firm Circulor to help ethically source battery materials

Volvo logo on a car

Photo: Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Volvo’s VC arm is investing in the blockchain tech firm Circulor as the company looks to expand its work on tracing the cobalt used in electric car batteries to include other materials too, Volvo said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Extraction of cobalt and other materials in the battery supply chain is linked to human rights abuses, so ethical sourcing of materials is important.

What's next: "The investment in Circulor by Volvo Cars allows both companies to expand their focus beyond cobalt, for example by looking at increasing traceability of mica, a mineral used as isolation material in the battery pack of electric Volvos," the announcement states.

Where it stands: It's part of a wider funding round for Circulor, which specializes in raw materials tracking.

  • Other investors in the new round are SYSTEMIQ, Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures and Plug & Play, Volvo said. Circulor declined to disclose the total size of the funding round

Speaking of auto-related VC, Bloomberg reports: "Karma Automotive, maker of the Revero plug-in hybrid luxury car, has raised $100 million from outside investors as the company and its parent seek to tap into an electric-car stock surge by seeking an additional $300 million."

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