Audi Introduces Battery Passport To Track How Clean Your EV Really Is

Electric Vehicles / 11 Comments

This is how you prove EVs are as ethical as they claim to be.

The Global Battery Alliance (GBA) launched its new Battery Passport at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. To be more precise, the GBA introduced the results of a proof of concept battery passport prototypes using data provided by Audi and Tesla. The idea for a Battery Passport dates back to 2017, but now there is proof that it can work.

A Battery Passport effectively does the same job as your passport. It's an official document that shows authorities a record of where you've been. The GBA is not suggesting that each EV battery is shipped out with a physical passport, however.

Instead, every battery will have a digital twin that will carry all the battery's lifecycle information. Examples of information that will be added to the digital record include the origin of the materials used for manufacturing, chemical composition, and sustainability performance.


Crucially, the data within the passport will have to be standardized so that a third party can audit it. The GBA's goal is to provide the end user with a clean passport, proving that it was constructed as efficiently and ethically as possible. According to the GBA, the battery's sustainability performance will be calculated according to rules and regulations set in place by manufacturers, academics, the government, and related non-profit organizations.

There's a good chance the Battery Passport will become a global trend, as there are several significant problems within battery construction. While states like California like to use the term emissions-free, there's no such thing, although getting to net-zero emissions is possible. Mining the materials needed to build a battery is a filthy business, not to mention the human rights violations and reported cases of child labor used in countries where the US has no jurisdiction.

Even so, those batteries end up in our electric vehicles. The Battery Passport would prevent that from happening.


That brings us neatly to the proof of concept provided by Audi. The German manufacturer used an Audi RS e-tron GT and tracked the battery's carbon footprint, its child labor and human rights performance, and information on data collection across different steps in the value chain.

"More sustainable batteries are vital to our efforts to responsibly and successfully shape the shift towards e-mobility," says Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG. "We have been committed to the development of the Battery Passport from the very beginning in 2017. Now, the proof of concept shows that even complex value chains can become transparent."

Transparency is the keyword in the quote above because that's what owners will want to see, or at least owners who are buying an EV for the right reason and not simply as a virtue signaling device.


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