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."

Go deeper: Waymo and Volvo to develop electric robotaxi

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Eyeing the end of gas-powered cars

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Gasoline-powered cars may be going the way of the woolly mammoth, even if it will take decades to replace them and seems hard to fathom today.

The big picture: Internal combustion engines (ICEs) have powered automobiles for more than 100 years. But the shift to electric vehicles, slow to materialize at first, is now accelerating due to tightening government policies, falling costs and a societal reckoning about climate change.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.
  7. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.
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Republicans and Dems react to Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

President Trump stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice during a White House ceremony Monday night .Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Trump said Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court and her subsequent taking of the constitutional oath Monday was a "momentous day," as she she vowed to serve "without any fear or favour."

Of note: As Republicans applauded the action, Democratic leaders warned of consequences to the rush to replace the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a conservative so close to the election, as progressives led calls to expand the court.