The EU has reached a new provisional agreement that sets a common standard for charging electronic devices. The amended Radio Equipment Directive will harmonize charging ports and charging speeds for certain electronic devices.
The EU is aiming to make consumer tech products in the region more sustainable, make consumers’ lives easier, and reduce electronic waste.
The EU, Parliament, and Council negotiators want to make USB-C a common charging port for cameras, tablets, mobile phones, headsets,earbuds, headphones, e-readers, portable speakers, and handheld videogames consoles by Autumn 2024 for all manufacturers.
Laptops will have to meet this requirement 40 months after this law comes into effect.
This provision also wants to harmonize charging speeds for electronic devcies that support fast charging which will allow consumers to charge their devices at the same speed with any compatible charger.
The agreement adds that users will be provided with clear information on the charging characteristics and speeds of new devices, making it easier for them to see whether their existing chargers are compatible.
This also gives consumers the ability to choose whether they want to purchase new electronic equipment with or without a charging device.
This will ensure that consumers re-use their current charging devices instead of buying new ones and dumping the old chargers that lead to tons of e-waste every year.
The big takeaway is that Apple will have to change the Lightning ports in their iPhones in favor of the Type-C charging port. The tech giant was initially against this proposal but they’ve caved in favor and are now testing iPhones with they the Type-C connector. Its current laptops already come with the prevalent Type-C charging port.
“Today we have made the common charger a reality in Europe! European consumers were frustrated long with multiple chargers piling up with every new device. Now they will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics,” said Parliament’s rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, MT).
“We are proud that laptops, e-readers, earbuds, keyboards, computer mice, and portable navigation devices are also included in addition to smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles, and portable speakers. We have also added provisions on wireless charging being the next evolution in the charging technology and improved information and labeling for consumers,” he continued.
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