American automaker Ford is joining in on growing support for battery passport programs that would allow consumers to trace components of their EV battery’s environmental and social footprint. This battery passport program would keep a digital record of how and where different components of an EV battery are sourced along the supply chain.
Last October, the Ford Motor Company announced its bold initiative after partnering with Everledger, a digital transparency company that aims to provide greater transparency in the global supply chain. With this partnership, the Ford Motor Company shared that it would be launching a pilot battery recycling passport program that would allow consumers to have greater insight into their EV battery supply chain history.
Ford is not the only automaker gunning for this level of transparency. Such transparency has also been supported by leading manufacturers, including Honda, Nissan, BMW, General Motors, Mazda, and more.
What Info is Included in a Battery Passport?
In a world that’s pushing towards greater economic and global sustainability, consumers have never been more vested in knowing where and how their everyday products and goods are sourced. With an EV battery passport, much of this uncertainty will become clearer. Consumers can look forward to information including; where materials used in the construction of an EV battery are sourced from; the percentage of recycled material within each component; how much carbon dioxide emissions a component creates; as well as social concerns such as human rights violations and protections and how those tie into the components in an EV battery.
The How and When of These Programs
The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative consortium has set forth a draft of rules which would require every EV battery to be tied to an identification number. Using this identification number, the blockchain could track units throughout the production process in real time.
According to reports, the European Union is slated to implement battery passports with all their vehicles starting in 2026. Unsurprisingly, the U.S. and India would likely move in the same direction in the coming years. While such battery programs won’t be available at your local Ford dealer just yet, this pilot could set the tone for the rest of the nation.
Are Battery Passport Programs the Future?
As the automotive landscape goes electric, there’s certainly room for battery passport programs to not only exist but thrive and improve overall global operations. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, digital battery passports can play a significant role in reducing waste, minimizing disruptions in the supply chain, and promoting sustainable battery management. Additionally, when consumers can trace back the origins of everyday products like their electric vehicle, they’re more likely to make environmentally conscious decisions that can have a global impact on some of the world’s most blatant human rights violations.
In a statement published by NIST, the organization highlights, “Given the finite nature of material resources worldwide, developing a circular EV batteries (EVB) infrastructure is needed to keep high-value battery materials in the economy, therefore, reducing the environmental and social
impact and minimizing disruptions in the supply chain due to potential shortage of critical and conflict minerals.”
Ford has not shared a target date of when their pilot battery program will roll out, but drivers should expect to explore this option at their local Ford dealer in the coming years.
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