Battery Labeling: Solving Supply Chain Traceability

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Increasing demand for batteries in consumer electronics, electric vehicles (EVs), and grid support has accelerated the global market. In the U.S. alone, batteries landed in the top 3 imports for September 2021. Globally, EVs are projected to make up 31% of all light-duty vehicles by 2050. This increased demand — in addition to recent proposed legislation such as the EU’s carbon border tax — puts pressure on battery manufacturers, suppliers, and vehicle manufacturers (OEMs) to ensure a safe, secure, efficient, and sustainable global battery value chain.

As demand skyrockets, we’re seeing a surge in new regulations surrounding the composition, manufacturing, usage, and recycling of batteries around the globe. Battery labeling — which includes attaching physical labels to a battery to provide its unique characteristics, such as number of cells, cell chemistry, dimensions, and more — is of particular interest to regulators and battery supply chain stakeholders hoping to increase visibility and efficiency as well as reduce the margin of error in battery recycling, reuse, and repurposing procedures.

Battery Labeling and Battery Data importance to increase visibility and efficiency

The European Commission (EC) lays out clear requirements for battery labeling in Directive 2006/66/EC and amendments to Regulation (EU) No 2019/1020. EC regulations specify size and location requirements for the label, stating that all batteries must meet these labeling requirements to be placed on the market in the EU. For example, the EU will require batteries measuring above 2 kWh to provide carbon footprint labeling.

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) Lithium-ion Car Battery Recycling Advisory Group also mentioned battery labeling in its final report, released in March 2022. In this report, the advisory group suggests requiring OEMs in California to attach standardized physical battery labels to help with reuse, repurposing, and recycling efforts. The California Air Resource Board (CARB) is also developing a labeling requirement as part of their proposed Advanced Clean Cars II regulation.

At MOBI, we believe that trusted multiparty track-and-trace systems are needed to effectively manage assets in the value chain, enhance interoperability between stakeholders, and empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions with confidence. In addition to spurring second-life and recycling use cases, battery labeling is also necessary to enable trusted track-and-trace applications for battery manufacturers, OEMs, and consumers, as peer-to-peer traceability requires that all participants reference a standardized framework for identifying assets as they travel upstream and downstream the value chain. Labeling is a foundational element for recording battery State of Charge (SOC) and State of Health (SOH) data, managing battery-electric-grid integration, tracking maintenance and repairs, managing recalls, and more.

Battery Labeling Use Cases MOBI Dashboard - SOH Tracking, Battery Reuse, Maintenance and Repair and Battery Recycling

In July 2022, MOBI released the Battery Identification Number (BIN) Technical Specifications, which specifies the format, content, and physical requirements for a globally unique identity of battery packs. The BIN is composed of a Battery Manufacturer Identifier (BMI), a Battery Descriptor Section (BDS), and a Battery Identifier Section (BIS), each of which denotes a battery’s specific characteristics, integrated with a unique and traceable identity. Similar to the vehicle identification number (VIN), the BIN is designed to be a physical indelible identity included on the battery’s physical label. The unique BIN number can be included as an attribute in a digital identity such as the one standardized by MOBI called Battery Birth Certificate, which is based on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Verifiable Credentials (VCs) and Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) standards.

Additionally, in 2021 and 2022, MOBI developed a pilot to demonstrate a traceability flow for maintaining a verifiable chain of custody in the EV battery supply chain with multiple stakeholders. In the demonstration, a Battery Birth Certificate containing BIN information such as the battery’s serial number, energy capacity, and chemical composition was issued by the battery supplier. The battery certificate was linked with the Vehicle Birth Certificate (stored in a vehicle’s Self-Sovereign Digital Twin, or SSDT, as defined in MOBI’s VID Standards) when installed by the OEM. When dealing with faulty batteries that were returned to the supplier, RevocationList2020 from W3C’s VC standard was implemented to revoke the vehicle or battery credentials if the components of the vehicle or battery were changed. The Battery SSDT is designed to be linked to a physical label on the battery, so that the physical label can be resolved to the battery’s digital identity, credentials, and other data. We aim to integrate these capabilities developed during the demonstration in the ongoing Battery SSDT and the Battery Passport initiatives.

Battery Labeling Enables More Seamless Track-and-Trace

MOBI’s Supply Chain Working Group is developing a guideline for the industry to use previously mentioned technology components in battery passports for reuse, repurposing, and recycling traceability. The Supply Chain Working Group contributors include Accenture, AIOI, Anritsu, Arxum, ASJade Tech, Aucnet, Autodata Group, AWS, Blockedge, BMW, CEVT, Dana, DENSO, DLT Labs, DMX, Fifth-9, Ford, Hitachi, Honda, IBM, IOTA, ITOCHU, Marelli, Mazda, Nara Institute, ParkMyFleet, Politecnico Di Torino, Quantstamp, R3, Reply, State Farm, Stellantis, SyncFab, Thirdware, TICO, and Vinturas.