Auto industry and others to create system that tracks production to disposal

Read on Nikkei Asia’s website


TOKYO — Japanese, U.S. and European carmakers and major cloud providers are among a group of 100 companies and organizations that will create international rules to accurately measure the carbon dioxide emissions of car batteries as early as 2022, Nikkei has learned.

Batteries account for about half the CO2 generated in the production of electric vehicles. By recording and sharing emission data from production to disposal, the group aims to create a mechanism to encourage the management and reuse of batteries and reduce the environmental burden.

The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (Mobi), which counts Ford Motor, Honda Motor and Japanese trading house Itochu among its members, will lead the development of the standard. Japanese auto parts maker Denso, Amazon Web Services and IBM will also participate.

The annual global production of four Mobi-affiliated automobile manufacturers is nearly 20 million vehicles, accounting for about 20% of the total market. Ford plans to adopt the standard, a person familiar with the matter said, because it “wants to set a standard for the mobility ecosystem across the industry.”

The move comes ahead of new regulations in Europe. In 2024, the European Commission plans to require CO2 emissions records at each stage of production, distribution, use and disposal for industrial batteries such as those for electric vehicles. An upper limit on emissions will be set from 2027.

The European Commission joined Mobi in March, and the new standard could be certified by the commission.

Blockchain will be used in the new standard to tally a reliable record of CO2 emissions. Computers will store and share transaction records while monitoring each other. Data rewriting is virtually impossible, and the risk of tampering is considered low.

Mobi is considering using a two-dimensional bar code and in-vehicle sensors to record data in each process on the blockchain. It plans to determine the type of data that will be collected at each stage, such as resource procurement, production, transportation and the disclosure method.

Mobi will also consult with the Global Battery Alliance, which counts many battery manufacturers around the world as members, and call on the participation of Chinese companies such as China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology, or CATL, the largest car battery maker in the world.

Electric vehicles produce CO2 during battery production. Recycling used batteries, which are produced in large quantities, is also a major issue.