That time when we developed a blockchain-backed UI that enables full lithium-ion battery life cycle traceability across the supply chain, supporting efficient re-use and responsible recycling of electric vehicle batteries

Project Context

Problem

Battery technology could enable the transport and power sectors to reduce emissions by 30%, with an estimated 18 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030. However, to ensure the recycling of the metals and minerals the batteries use, battery supply chains must become “circular.”

Solution

Everledger tracks products with lithium-ion batteries by registering them with immutable records on the blockchain for greater security, privacy, and traceability. Critical metals and minerals supply becomes circular by validating these batteries’ collection and responsible recycling.

Audience

OEMs
Recyclers
Stakeholders
U.S. Department of Energy

Project Type

Full-time Professional Experience

Constraints

Covid

Time Frame

6 Months

My Role

User Experience Designer
User Interface Designer

Team

Interdisciplinary Everledger team

Project Breakdown

01

Problem Context

With an estimated 18 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030, battery technology could enable the transport and power sectors to reduce emissions by 30%, in line with the 2°C targets of the Paris Agreement.

However, the reduced emission gains are at risk of being undermined unless battery supply chains can become more circular to ensure the recycling of used metals and minerals.

The growing momentum in the electric vehicle industry is simultaneously creating demand for battery repurposing, recycling, and disposal.

Figure 1: The battery revolution has the potential to create an estimated 10 million jobs and add $150 billion to the global economy. Given the vast second-life potential for electric vehicle batteries (EVBs) and the fast-emerging circular economy, the obligation to sustainably manage battery materials is both a financial and reputational opportunity.

02

Research Process

The United States Department of Energy opened a public call last year to support increased sustainability in the industry. As a result, Everledger has partnered with Ford Motor Company to create a digital identity pilot program for Electric Vehicle Batteries. 

Everledger’s blockchain platform enables battery supply chain stakeholders to monitor each battery’s current condition and prove who the current owner is to avoid polluting waste leakage into the environment.

Synthesize

Everledger contributes and endorses the principles of the Global Battery Alliance, an initiative dedicated to building an environmentally sustainable battery value chain. Through Everledger’s intelligent labeling solutions, battery characteristics and history are captured digitally and then logged onto the blockchain, enabling higher security, record immutability, and privacy.

Everledger’s solution allows critical life cycle data to be exchanged, creating a more efficient circular system. For instance, manufacturers become incentivized to share essential data with value chain stakeholders to improve safety and reduce the costs of extending the life of batteries and recycling.

Figure 2: The Department of Energy partially funded the project's first phase to give batteries a custom-made digital identity aka 'battery passport'. Later on, Ford Motor Company partnered with Everledger for a trial period.

03

Design

As the UX Designer and Product Development Specialist on the team, I designed the cutting-edge Electric Vehicle Battery passport UI, creating the wireframes, Figma prototypes, and visual mockups.

Throughout the development process, I collaborated with Ford stakeholders and optimized for Everledger developers as they coded the MVP to build an intuitive user interface for mobile and desktop applications.

Figure 3: To design the "Battery Passport" User interface, I researched stakeholders' needs and then used Figma to create interactive Figma prototypes, and Canva to create educational EVB marketing materials.

04

Deliverable

Ultimately, the collaboration between Ford and Everledger enabled us to research the design successfully and develop an Electric Vehicle Battery Passport. The delivered prototype enabled stakeholders along the supply chain to monitor an EVB’s condition and provide immutable documented proof (stored on the blockchain) that the EVB was recycled, rather than polluted, once removed from the car. 

Outcome

This EVB Lifecycle management is a fascinating test case for the circular economy to support a cleaner, greener environment.

Rapidly falling technology costs are creating significant opportunities to reduce waste. The blockchain-backed UI allows for an immutable record of valuable metals and materials much more cheaply than in the past, radically increasing the chances of recovering them for recycling.

Figure 4: In the end, I successfully designed a state of the art Electric Vehicle Battery Passport User Interface Design and collaborated with the developers to iterate the MVP's design to meet their limitations in the development process as they coded the MVP.
Media credit shared between Lukas and the Everledger team.