The European Union proposes regulation to make it easier to replace phone and laptop batteries

The European Union proposes regulation to make it easier to replace phone and laptop batteries

OEMs can force the return of user-replaceable batteries

After implementing a new law to Make USB-C the standard charging port for smartphones and devices across various categories, the European Union has now proposed new regulation to make batteries more sustainable and reusable. The new regulation covers the entire battery life cycle, from material extraction to disposal, and may force smartphone manufacturers to return user-replaceable batteries.

The interim agreement to reform the EU’s rules on batteries aims to make it easier to remove and replace all types of batteries sold in the EU. It also seeks to provide consumers with better information about the batteries they are purchasing through labels, QR codes that highlight capacity, performance, durability, chemical composition, and the “assemble separately” symbol.

Furthermore, the EU will require manufacturers to develop and implement a “due diligence policy” to address social and environmental risks associated with the supply, processing and trading of raw materials and secondary raw materials for batteries. The regulation also specifies the minimum levels of recycled materials required to produce new batteries: 16% cobalt, 85% lead, 6% lithium, and 6% nickel.

A press release on the matter reveals that the new regulation will apply to portable batteries, SLI batteries (providing energy to start, ignite, or ignite vehicles), and light-duty transportation (LMT) batteries (providing power to tow wheeled vehicles such as scooters and electric bicycles, and electric vehicle (EV) and industrial batteries.However, manufacturers will have three and a half years after the legislation is passed to design portable batteries in devices that allow users to “easily remove and replace them themselves.”

The requirement to offer replaceable portable batteries will be a challenge for tech giants like Apple and Samsung, as most smartphones and laptops currently on the market come with non-removable batteries. The regulations may force these companies to completely rethink their product design and bring back removable back covers on smartphones and laptops to help users easily remove the battery. But since the regulation is still awaiting final approval by the European Parliament and the European Council, we’ll have to wait and see how things turn out.

Source: Press room of the European Parliament

Through: TNW

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