ATZelektronik worldwide

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 8–13 | Cite as

The dark side of our raw-materials supply chain

  • Christiane Köllner
In The Spotlight

Cobalt is a key raw material in the production of the lithium-ion batteries that power our electric vehicles. The connection between cobalt and electric vehicles would be unremarkable if it were not for the unsettling fact that cobalt is often mined in conditions marked by human rights violations. Research carried out by Amnesty International confirms the active involvement of children in the mining of cobalt in Congo. According to the human rights organization, many of the world’s carmakers are aware of the exploitative conditions, but have nonetheless failed so far to implement sufficiently consistent and effective responses. As we pursue cleaner technologies, what can be done to clean up — in ethical terms — the supply of the raw materials on which these technologies depend?

Conditions at the Source

Electric vehicles have been touted by lawmakers and automobile-industry representatives as the key to a successful transition to clean and sustainable energy use in the transportation...


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Copyright information

© Springer Automotive Media 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christiane Köllner
    • 1
  1. 1.Germany

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