A common charging standard for mobile phones, headphones, tablets, cameras, portable speakers and handheld game consoles. That means it official bills which the EU just announced through a press conference chaired by Commissioner Thierry Breton.
The purpose is mainly to reduce the amount of electronic waste that the jungle of different connections for chargers contributes to today. Another benefit of a common standard, according to the EU, is a harmonized approach to fast charging technologies, and a clearer requirement for information to consumers regarding the charger’s capacity is also included in the proposal.
The standard the EU now wants to see for our gadgets is usb-c, which is already widespread on the market today. At the same time, the European Commission wants to legislate that new chargers will no longer be included when we buy new gadgets. In this way, it is hoped to be able to keep down the total number of chargers that risk affecting the environment negatively when they are to be disposed of.
The struggle for a common charging standard has been going on for a long time. EU Commissioner and Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager said in a comment:
– European consumers have long been saddened to collect incompatible chargers in drawers at home. We have given the industry plenty of time to propose their own solutions, and now it’s time for legislation on a common charger. This is a great victory for both consumers and the environment, and is in line with our green and digital ambitions.
What happens now?
The proposal will be hammered out in the European Parliament and then follow the usual procedure regarding new legislation. A transition period of 24 months then awaits with an approved proposal for the industry to have time to adapt to the new law.
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The manufacturer that is perhaps most affected, and which has also been most skeptical, towards the USB-C standard is Apple. The company uses its own lightning ports in its Iphone and has previously aired fears that standardization inhibits innovation. Apple has been rumored to switch to a completely portless design of its phones within a couple of years, but whether today’s announcement will affect such a possible strategy is unclear.
What gadgets are covered by the bill?
- Mobile phones
- Headphones and headsets
- Portable speakers
- Digital cameras
- Handheld game consoles