The EU wants to bring back removable batteries to smartphones
The European Parliament has voted for a new regulatory act that will review the entire life cycle of batteries, from design to end-of-life. The discussion of this idea started over 3 years ago, and now the innovation will also impact the smartphone and laptop industry, according to Techspot.
The new rules will require consumer devices, such as smartphones, to have easily removable and replaceable batteries. Currently, the majority of smartphones have non-removable batteries, but it wasn't always the case. In the early stages of mobile phone development, battery replacement took only a few seconds. Charging technology was not as fast, and power banks as a class of devices were not available, so it was often necessary to carry a spare battery to connect when the main battery was discharged.
However, manufacturers later abandoned easily replaceable batteries in favor of "sealed" phones with a sleeker design. Many consumers were against such changes, but eventually, the majority accepted it as the new norm. Now, the new EU regulations may force manufacturers to reintroduce removable batteries in their devices, at least those that are supplied to the European market.
This is not the first time the EU has intervened in the operations of smartphone manufacturers. Last year, the EU introduced a requirement for phones and other small electronic devices to be equipped with a USB-C port for charging. This posed a problem for Apple, which uses the proprietary Lightning connector in iPhones. However, Apple has already confirmed that it will comply with the new requirements and transition to USB-C, at least in the EU.
After approval by the European Parliament, the document's text needs to be officially adopted by the EU Council. It will then be published in the Official Journal of the EU, after which the rules will take effect. The requirement for consumer devices to have removable batteries will come into effect 3.5 years after the new rules take effect.
Alternative options are provided for smartphone and tablet manufacturers. They will have the choice between releasing devices with easily replaceable batteries or versions that meet specific performance and durability requirements. There may also be exceptions for devices that are waterproof.