Volvo is First to Market With BEV “Passport”

Volvo Cars will be the first automaker to launch a production vehicle with a “battery passport” this year, the EX90, which informs customers and regulators where battery earth metals are sourced, and the carbon footprint of the vehicle.

David Kiley_

June 5, 2024

2 Min Read
Volvo is more than two years ahead of the EU mandate for “passports.”Volvo Cars

Volvo Cars will be the first automaker to launch a BEV with a “Battery Passport” when it introduces the EX90 in Europe this year.

The European Union has mandated that EVs starting in 2027 must come with a certification that informs buyers and regulators detailed information about the battery pack, including where the earth metals were mined, the mining companies that extracted the material, the maker of the battery pack and more.

The EX90 launches in the U.S. later this year.

The “passport” measure was adopted by the EU in an attempt to make transparent to consumers, as well as regulators, the origin of earth metals, as well as the carbon footprint of the vehicle. Environmental and human rights groups have been calling for greater transparency about where BEV earth metals are derived to potentially punish countries and companies who have bad mining and worker practices, as well as to identify content from China.

Tesla and Audi are two automakers that have shown prototypes of their “passports,” but Volvo is the first to launch a vehicle with one.

The demand for earth metals for BEV batteries is rising fast. By 2030 the EU will need 5 times more cobalt and 18 times more lithium compared to the demand in 2018, numbers which are only going to climb as BEV adoption gets further down the road.

The “EU Battery Regulation Amendment” mandating “passports” was adopted by the EU Council in July 2023, laying out the regulatory structure to achieve sustainable battery lifecycles. This requirement includes a digital record system to enable the transfer of key information when a vehicle is sold and resold.

A battery passport will be required starting in 2027 to register a BEV in the EU. The passport will include: the mining companies that extracted metals, the cell and battery producers, as well as information about battery servicing, refurbishing, and recycling companies.

Many OEs plan to utilize third-party companies to develop and provide “passports." Volvo’s partner is UK-based Circulor, which is using blockchain technology to show BEV buyers key information about the battery, including where the materials were sourced, composition of the battery cell pack, how much content is recycled and an estimation of the vehicle’s carbon footprint.

Each BEV will have a QR code on the inside of the driver’s door along with tire and other key vehicle information.

Volvo says it will eventually include a more detailed passport that also includes EV battery health information, so that consumers and mechanics know as much as possible about the battery health of any BEV. The cost of the passport will be around $10 per BEV, according to Circulor, and be available for 15 years after the car is built.

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