Sono Motors says it has become the first electric vehicle manufacturer to join the Fair Cobalt Alliance, an initiative to drive fairer supply of cobalt by improving conditions in small-scale mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The company will be an ambassador for the project and will also have a voice in decisions on the implementation of measures in the project area.

Through the support of the Alliance, the company wants to increase transparency in the cobalt supply chain for its own Solar Electric Vehicle, Sion, in the medium term. In the long term, the company seeks to integrate fair cobalt into its own supply chain.

Launched by Fairphone, Signify, Huayou Cobalt and The Impact Facility, the Fair Cobalt Alliance pursues three specific objectives in cooperation with the Congolese government and civil society:

  • Drive the supply of fairer cobalt by supporting the professionalisation of small-scale mining management and creating safer and more environmentally responsible sites
  • Establish credible control and monitoring mechanisms to keep children out of mines and support enrolment of children into school, in order to  effectively prevent child labour in the supply chain
  • Combat poverty among families dependent on cobalt mining by supporting projects aimed at creating a sustainable livelihood, for example by promoting education, agriculture or entrepreneurship

“As an electric vehicle manufacturer whose clear goal is to make mobility fairer and even more environmentally friendly, it is our responsibility to also address the downside of battery technology,” said Sono Motors CEO and co-founder, Jona Christians.

“With the Fair Cobalt Alliance, we are tackling the root of the problem and promoting a responsible mining of cobalt, which is an essential component of electric car batteries. It is part of Sono Motors’ vision to be a role model and we hope for other companies in the mobility industry to follow and join the Alliance.”

In addition to Sono Motors, Glencore and Lifesaver are also joining the Alliance.