When we broke up with the conventions of the car industry, we bade a strong and unambiguous farewell to the old. Outdated methods, conventional outlooks, anything that could be explained away with the phrase “we’ve always done it this way”, we were done with all of that.
Ironically, this break up lead to more commitment. A firm commitment to new approaches, ideas, and concepts. Not just because they’re new, of course, but if there’s a glimmer of potential in something, we’ll give it a try. You can’t offer pure, progressive performance without being progressive, after all. Progression in all things: design, ownership, even the sourcing of materials.
Ensuring traceability of materials throughout the supply chain is an obstacle for any manufacturer, one that hasn't been overcome by traditional means. The provenance of certain materials can’t exactly be guaranteed. None more so than the cobalt required for lithium ion batteries. That is, until blockchain entered the picture.
A blockchain is a digital register of records which are linked to one another via cryptography. It creates transaction records within a supply chain which cannot be altered, recording the same set of data (in the case of cobalt, it records the origin, weight, size, chain of custody, and information showing the participants’ adherence to OECD* supply chain guidelines) in each transaction. It also guarantees that the information contained in these records cannot be changed without detection.
This unparalleled transparency means that sources of material, and the methods by which they’re extracted, processed and transported, can be regulated. In other words, we can (and do) insist upon responsible and sustainable standards throughout the entire supply chain.
Polestar’s two main battery suppliers, South Korea’s LG Chem and China’s CATL, are working with technology firms to implement blockchain technology in the ways described above. The agreements reached between these firms (Circulor for both LG Chem and CATL) outline a shared commitment to responsible supply chains, carbon emissions reduction, and technology leadership. Through these measures, we can state unequivocally that our cobalt is sourced responsibly.
And this is only the beginning, one move of many that will speed the transition to sustainable electric mobility.
Don’t be fooled by the break-up. We’re not afraid of commitment.
*The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which provides detailed recommendations to companies on how to respect human rights when making purchasing and materials decisions.