Ford EV Program Aims To Ensure Cobalt Isn’t Mined By Kids

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Electric vehicles are coming no matter how fans of internal combustion engines feel. One of the critical components that the batteries used inside all Ford EV models, like the coming Ford F-150 EV, rely on is cobalt mined in countries where the use of child and slave labor is an issue in some industries. Ford and other automakers are working to ensure that the cobalt is mined without the use of child or slave laborers.

Ford wants transparency on how the raw materials that Ford EV and hybrid batteries will use are sourced. In the spring of 2020, a system called the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network will launch to create a step-by-step chain from the mine to the end-manufacturer to ensure that the materials were responsibly sourced.

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About 70 percent of the world’s cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in central Africa. Specifically, the southern province of Lualaba is one of the most significant cobalt mining areas. Estimates from 2014 say that about 40,000 children work in these mines. Some of the smaller-scale mines in the area reportedly fail to ensure that slave and child labor isn’t used. Many of the larger operations have stricter standards, but the material that is ethically sourced may be mixed with cobalt that was not ethically sourced in the manufacturing stage.

The organization seeking to launch the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network is physically in the mines where it is applying the principals. It is a difficult process that focuses on the large scale producers of cobalt for now. A pilot program was launched in January that traced the supply of cobalt produced by China’s Huayou Cobalt Co that was sent to LG Chem Ltd and Ford. The automaker referred comments on the project to IBM.

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Source: The Detroit News

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Written by Shane McGlaun

Shane is a car guy with a fondness for Mustangs and off-roading.

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13 Comments

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  1. Quote “Some of the smaller-scale mines in the area reportedly fail to ensure that salve and child labor isn’t used. Many of the larger operations have stricter standards, but the material that is ethically sourced may be mixed with cobalt that was not ethically sourced in the manufacturing stage.”

    This means Ford, GM, Tesla, BMW, Audi … can’t be sure that their cobalt is not coming from child labor. They can ask but no one can answer.

    • “Some of the smaller-scale mines in the area reportedly fail to ensure that salve and child labor isn’t used.” I know what “slave” labor is but what is “salve” labor?

      • I did saw that misspell “slave” but I just copied and pasted the actual sentence from the author.
        I won’t try to fix misspell from anyone.

  2. The unspoken cruelty of EV’s. Just as bad as Blood Diamonds only it’s not just the rich that help abuse these kids. But it must feel good to act like you’re helping the environment even if you really aren’t.

  3. “But it must feel good to act like you’re helping the environment even if you really aren’t.”

    Explain this: Why EV buyers get Federal Tax Credit up to $7,500. Tesla buyers are currently get $1,750 Federal Tax Credit until end of this year.

    If EV doesn’t help keep the air clean then why give them money ?

    Open your brain to think straight.

    • Really, the government does everything correctly or with a true reason? The tax credit is for votes, period. While they don’t directly add anything to the environment, building them and charging them, does. Or do you think they magically charge? Do you know how bad the Prius is for the environment? Of course not, the environmental religion is strong in its deceit. My brain is open, you should try it. Or maybe you shouldn’t, sand feels good on your cheeks I hear.

      • That tax credit was signed by President George Bush, so all you Republicans who are against the rebate, remember that you and your Congresspersons voted for it. Now the present Republicans don’t want to extend it.

    • I guess the children’s lives that are ruined don’t matter to you either. Like I said, the environmental religion is a deceitful one.

    • EVs do help the environment because the electrons that carry the energy are recycled. The molecules that carry the chemical energy in gasoline are never recycled.

  4. @Mike –

    You are 100% WRONG in everything. You need to see a brain surgeon to check your brain.

    “I guess the children’s lives that are ruined don’t matter to you either.” – You are 1000% WONG here. This topic is Ford tries to buy only clean COBALT that are not from children. This is the quote from this article: “Ford and other automakers are working to ensure that the cobalt is mined without the use of child or slave laborers.”

    What the heck are you talking about your statement: “I guess the children’s lives that are ruined don’t matter to you either.”

    You are much worst person than anyone on the surface of the world. You are so dumb to understand the simple topic of this article.

  5. Ford Authority published an article about an IBM technology that doesn’t use cobalt or any heavy metals:
    http://fordauthority.com/2019/12/ibm-ev-battery-breakthrough-requires-no-heavy-metals/

    We can thank the IBM company from bringing another new idea. IBM is the world’s largest technology company, with the most patents, and the most influential, since every computer on this planet (and on Mars*, too!) uses an IBM developed idea and technology.

    * The 1997 Mars Pathfinder lander uses a modified single-chip IBM RISC 6000 computer (now called the “POWER” series) with 128 MB of RAM.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Pathfinder

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