Volvo Improves EV Transparency With an EX90 Battery ‘Passport’

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Key Takeaways

  • Volvo has produced the first EV battery passport for its EX90 SUV.
  • The passport lets you trace the origins of the battery's materials.
  • The European Union will require these passports for all EVs by early 2027.

In a move that could improve transparency and sustainability in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, Volvo is introducing world’s first EV battery “passport” for its high-end EX90 SUV.

Th feature offers comprehensive information about the origins of the raw materials, components, recycled content, and carbon footprint for the battery.

The EV battery passport is a result of a collaboration between Volvo and UK-based startup Circulor, which uses blockchain technology to map supply chains for companies. Circular’s operations on battery passports predate the European Commission’s first proposal for a new Battery Regulation in 2020. The EU requires that such passports should be available for all EVs sold in the region from February 2027 onward.

According to Reuters, Circulor’s system traces battery materials from the mine to individual cars, verifying suppliers’ monthly energy bills and the proportion of their energy derived from renewable sources to calculate a total carbon footprint. 

For Volvo owners, a simplified version of the passport can be accessed using a QR code located inside the driver’s door, while a more comprehensive version will be submitted to regulators. Notably, the passport will also include real-time information on the EV battery’s health status, crucial for determining used EV values.

This initiative by Volvo marks a significant stride towards enhancing accountability within the automotive industry and sets a precedent for other EV battery manufacturers like BYD, Panasonic, and Samsung.

The EX90 with a battery passport is slated to start production soon at Volvo’s facility in Charleston, South Carolina. Deliveries to customers in Europe and North America are anticipated from the latter half of the year.

Volvo’s focus on electric vehicles aligns well with the burgeoning global EV market, which is experiencing explosive growth, with global sales forecasted to hit 17 million units in 2024. Last year, EV sales surged by 34% compared to 2022 levels, accounting for nearly one out of every five new cars sold worldwide. Projections indicate that by 2025, EVs will represent 23.5% of the global light vehicle market.