EU regulations will make smartphone batteries user-replicable by 2027
The EU votes overwhelmingly to make batteries more sustainable
The European Parliament has just given smartphone and tablet makers a major headache by approving new rules that will make portable batteries user replaceable by 2027.
With 587 votes for, 20 abstentions, and nine votes against the legislation, the EU has adopted its new battery legislation with overwhelming support. This law will force electric vehicle batteries and industrial batteries of over 2kWh to have a carbon footprint declaration label, enact stricter collection targets and recycling targets for used batteries, and enforce “minimum levels of recycled content” for new batteries. These rules will help decrease the carbon footprint of battery collection, and the new material requirements for new batteries.
For devices with portable batteries, such as smartphones and tablets, users must be able to “easily remove and replace them.” This will change the way that manufacturers design their products, as most modern devices are not made with battery replacements in mind, with many devices requiring unique or specialised tools to replace these components.
These rule changes are designed to increase the usable lifespan of portable products that feature batteries, and make the batteries within these products easier to access and retrieve for recycling purposes. In 2031, the EU expects a minimum of 95% of the material used within batteries to be recoverable, and manufacturers have until 2027 to make products that feature batteries that are easy to remove and replace.
This is not the first time that the EU has caused headaches for smartphone manufacturers, with Apple being forced to make future European iPhones with USB Type-C connectors to comply with EU laws. Apple’s iPhone 15 is expected to be the first iPhone that will use USB Type-C when it launches in Europe, forcing Apple to move away from their proprietary lightning connector in Europe.
With their new laws, the EU has also started a path towards to potential removal of non-rechargeable batteries from the market, something that the EU must now access by December 31st 2030. This could mean that all future batteries in Europe may be rechargeable after a certain point.
You can join the discussion on the EU’s plans to make portable batteries easier to replace on the OC3D Forums.