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Volvo Cars Goes for Blockchain Tech to Avoid Unethical Cobalt

  • Swedish firm launched its first fully electric car last month
  • Shift away from fossil fuels is posing challenge for carmakers
The Volvo AB XC40 crossover sports utility vehicle (SUV) is displayed during the 2018 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. The New York International Auto Show, North America's first and largest-attended auto show dating back to 1900, showcases an incredible collection of cutting-edge design and extraordinary innovation.
Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg
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Volvo Cars will use blockchain technology to trace the origin of cobalt used in its batteries in an effort to avoid supplies produced by children and under unethical conditions.

The commodity, an important ingredient in lithium-ion batteries, is mainly extracted in Congo, which last year produced more than two-thirds of the world’s cobalt.