EU proposes regulation to make phone and laptop batteries easier to replace

It could force OEMs to bring in user-replaceable batteries

After implementing a new law to make USB-C the standard charging port for smartphones and devices in several categories, the EU has now proposed a new regulation to make batteries more sustainable and reusable. The new regulation covers the entire battery life cycle, from material extraction to disposal, and could force smartphone makers to bring in user-replaceable batteries.

The interim agreement to review EU rules on batteries aims to make it easier to phase out and replace all types of batteries sold in the EU. It also seeks to give consumers better information about the batteries they buy through labels and QR codes that highlight capacity, performance, durability, chemical composition and a “separate collection” symbol.

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

A press release in this regard reveals that the new regulations will apply to portable batteries, SLI batteries (which provide power for starting, lighting or ignition of vehicles), light vehicle batteries (LMT) (which provide power for the traction of wheeled vehicles such as electric scooters and bicycles), electric vehicle (EV) batteries and industrial batteries. However, manufacturers will have three and a half years after the legislation is passed to design portable batteries into appliances that allow users to “remove and replace them easily.”

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

Source: Press Room of the European Parliament

Via: TNW


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