This week MOBI, the web3/DLT mobility alliance, published a global battery passport standard. It’s in response to the EU’s battery legislation that is expected to be finalized shortly, and requires electric vehicle (EV) batteries to have a passport. However, the standard also envisions being useful when other jurisdictions publish laws.
Batteries use materials such as cobalt, which often involve child labor during extraction, as well as conflict metals. Additionally, the positive environmental impact of EVs is heavily influenced by how a battery is produced and recycled. Battery passports will play a critical role in these aspects.
The MOBI standard received input from numerous major brands, including several auto manufacturers such as Ford, Honda, Nissan and Mazda. It doesn’t aim to dictate what details to include in the passport but rather how to decentralize the process.
A decentralized approach is recommended to make traceability easier, help preserve sensitive corporate information such as the names of suppliers, and prevent collusion involving a centralized player. By creating an open interoperable standard it hopes to prevent vendor lock in and single points of failure.
Two blockchain firms have also been involved in the GBA, Circulor and Everledger. Unfortunately Everledger recently went bankrupt. Circulor is in astrong financial shape, having raised $25 million last year.
It is also heavily involved as one of the main technology providers in the Battery Pass Consortium, partially funded by the German government and an affiliate of the GBA. The startup initially focused on the traceability of conflict metals and cobalt, before progressing to tracking emissions and battery passports. It has several automative clients including Mercedes, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover.