The Fair Cobalt Alliance is an initiative that is working to improve conditions in the small-scale cobalt mining industry in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Munich, August 24, 2020 – Sono Motors became the first electric vehicle manufacturer to join the Fair Cobalt Alliance, an initiative to drive fairer supply of cobalt by improving the 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 close 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 the mines and support the 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. 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," says Jona Christians, CEO and co-founder of Sono Motors.
In addition to Sono Motors, Glencore and Lifesaver are also joining the alliance today. The entire press release by the Fair Cobalt Alliance is available for download below.
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Sono Motors is on a mission to enable a revolutionary mobility system, where every electric vehicle is solar, shared, and independent from fossil-fuels. Today, an experienced specialist team is developing a forward-looking electric car that is suitable for daily use, the Sion. Both the Sion’s integrated solar technology and innovative mobility services will enable users to access clean mobility, harness solar energy and reduce CO2 impacts.
Sono Motors was founded in 2016 and has rapidly grown to more than 140 employees today. The team combines a range of burgeoning global talent with industry veterans, including former employees from BMW, Nissan, Chrysler, Daimler, Audi, Mozilla, Sixt, FlixBus and mytaxi. Since its foundation, the company has raised approximately € 100M through reservations and funding. The company released its first generation Sion prototype in 2017 and has amassed 13,000 reservations with advance payments. In 2018, Sono Motors was recognized as a Solar Impulse Foundation by the Solar Impulse Foundation. In January of 2020, Sono Motors successfully closed one of the largest community crowdfunding campaigns in Europe.
Sono Motors’ Sion intends to blend disruptive technology with affordability to enable individual contribution to global sustainability. The Sono solar technology replaces traditional paint with proprietary integrated solar panels that can form to various applications. Additionally, the Sion’s solar panels can add up to 245 km or 152 mi (112 km or 70mi on average) of additional driving range per week to the car’s battery. The Sion is expected to have the lowest TCO (total cost of ownership) in its category at the start of production, which is scheduled for the first half of 2023.