As auto giants scale up EV production in earnest, they’re in a race to lock down crucial battery supplies. Before you purchase your EV from a major global automaker have you read and confirmed that they are in compliance with The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act SB657?

It’s not in the best interests of a for profit company to turn down a good deal when it comes to buying raw products in an already crowded market place. That’s why most large, I’m talking billion-dollar companies, don’t really do the research they should on companies whose prices are so good on bulk materials they really don’t want to know the ins and outs.  They turn a blind eye to the realities of the dirty secrets of the lithium and cobalt acquisition and procurement side.

That’s what I’m here for.  Look, I have no animosity toward Africa and the many budding nations trying to get a foothold in the rough and tumble world of international business.  Whether you know it or not, and you probably don’t, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Africa supplies 60% of the cobalt used in today’s batteries. Trust me, I also have no animosity toward Chile either.  As part of the Lithium Triangle in South America which also includes Argentina and Bolivia, they alone are responsible for 50% of the lithium bought and sold on the world market today.

But when I hear about the atrocities the workers are put through in the cobalt mines, i.e. actually digging the mines by hand, the horrendous living conditions, (Amnesty International has documented children and adults mining cobalt in narrow man-made tunnels),  and the exposure to the dangerous gases emitted during the procurement of these rare minerals, not to mention the destruction of the local ecosystems when the waste water and other unusable ores are let loose onto the environments they have no choice but to live in because their wages are so infinitesimally small, it causes to me the take a step back and examine my moral obligations to humanity.  Green technology cannot thrive off human rights abuses.

The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act  is intended to educate consumers on how to purchase goods manufactured by companies that responsibly and ethically manage their supply chains. Consumers should be aware of the law and know what to look for in company documentation and on the companies’ websites, especially as it relates to those minerals and materials used in the construction of the batteries that are supplied by foreign sources to stop and prevent human trafficking and slavery in their product supply chains abroad and in the United States.

EV production is growing rapidly worldwide. Analysts expect lithium demand to grow by approximately 42 percent by 2020, and nickel demand for electric vehicles and energy storage to more than double between 2016 and 2020. For the exotic mineral cobalt, battery production drove 49 percent of the demand in 2017, and is projected to drive 61 percent in 2022.

By NOT holding major automakers accountable for their supply chain integrity while building those cars, consumers and businesses are inadvertently promoting and sanctioning these crimes through the purchase of goods and products that have been tainted in the supply chain, and that, absent publicly available disclosures, consumers are at a disadvantage in being able to distinguish ethical companies on the merits of their efforts to supply products free from the stench of slavery and human trafficking.

As demand for rechargeable batteries grows for EV’s and electronics, companies have a responsibility to prove that they have ethical supply chains, a priority when implementing green policies, and are not profiting from the misery of miners working in terrible conditions like those in the DRC.

The facts are here. With 50% of all EV’s in the USA bought and driven in California, The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act is among the best ways for you, the public, to use your voices and wallets to stop supply practices that are contributing to the slavery and trafficking problem around the globe that the demand for these exotic minerals, cobalt and lithium, specifically for EV battery use, have promulgated.


o   SB 657 Enforcement Reporting

o   Attention: Civil Rights Enforcement Section

o   300 S. Spring Street, Suite 1702

o   Los Angeles, California 90013

As the world scrambles for cleaner, reliable electrical energy, the environmental impact of locating and extracting all the lithium and/or cobalt required to enable and sustain the transformation could become a serious issue in its own right. The electrical energy solutions of the future must not be built on human rights abuses or on non-existent environmental regulations. Please, do me, if not yourself, a favor, and pay attention to the man behind the curtain.