European battery maker ACC partners with Circulor to map supply chain, carbon emissions

By Nick Carey

LONDON (Reuters) – Automotive Cells Co (ACC) has partnered with UK startup Circulor to check the provenance and embedded carbon emissions of raw materials the France-based battery maker uses for electric vehicle (EV) battery cells, the two companies said on Wednesday.

ACC is a joint venture between Stellantis, TotalEnergies and Mercedes-Benz Group.

Launched in 2020, ACC has announced EV battery plants in France, Germany and Italy with a 7 billion-euro ($7.6 billion) investment. The French plant should start mass production soon.

Circulor, which uses blockchain technology to map supply chains for companies pursuing greener production, already works with a range of companies including Volvo Cars, BMW and BHP.

The partnership comes as the European auto industry readies for a “battery passport” that will trace the content and carbon footprint of EV cells sold in Europe.

Batteries sold in Europe must disclose their carbon footprint starting this year, followed by complying with a CO2 emissions limit and disclosing the content of recycled raw materials from 2027.

Circulor is also part of the battery passport project.

“Our partnership with Circulor is key to knowing our supply chains are operating as they should – sustainably and responsibly – and that we’re passing this value on to our customers,” ACC supply chain director Olivier Talabard said in a statement.

European battery makers are also under pressure to differentiate themselves from Chinese rivals – which can produce at larger scale and offer lower prices – by demonstrating greener products with lower CO2 emissions and more recycled content.

Circulor CEO Douglas Johnson-Poensgen said the company was currently talking to companies up and down the EV battery cell supply chain.

“Right now, we’re witness an arms race for enough raw materials and at the moment nobody has to declare where they got stuff or what the carbon footprint is,” Johnson-Poensgen said.”As soon as we switch this light on with the battery passport regulations, all of a sudden folks will start worrying about sourcing responsibly.”

($1 = 0.9184 euros)

(Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Mark Potter)