Mobile Battery

Smartphones with user replaceable batteries are poised to make a comeback in the European Union (EU) as the region prepares to enact new legislation. The EU is set to introduce a law that will require smartphone manufacturers to design devices with easily repairable batteries. Once approved by the Council and Parliament, this law will come into effect in early 2027.

The new regulations, approved by the European Council, not only focus on replaceable batteries but also address the environmental impact of batteries throughout their life cycle. In addition to making batteries replaceable, the law mandates that all rechargeable batteries used in electric vehicles and mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, sold within the EU, should provide details about their carbon footprint, label, and a battery passport.

This move by the EU Council aims to make smartphone batteries more environmentally friendly and sustainable. By mandating smartphone manufacturers to equip phones with user replaceable batteries by 2027, the EU hopes to reduce electronic waste and encourage a circular economy approach.

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While the law sets a clear timeline for implementation, there is a possibility of delay if manufacturers request more time to transition to portable batteries. The regulation encompasses all types of batteries, including waste portable batteries, electric vehicle batteries, industrial batteries, and batteries for light means of transport, such as electric bikes and scooters.

The regulations also include requirements for battery labeling, with the introduction of mandatory information on the carbon footprint of batteries, as well as the implementation of an electronic “battery passport” and a QR code. These labeling requirements will be enforced by 2026 and 2027, respectively.

The legislation also aims to improve waste management and collection of batteries within the EU. Targets have been set for the collection of waste portable batteries, with a goal of 63 percent by the end of 2027 and 73 percent by the end of 2030. Additionally, the regulation sets targets for lithium recovery from waste batteries, aiming for 50 percent by 2027 and 80 percent by 2031.

Major smartphone manufacturers, including Apple, Samsung, and Google, are expected to be impacted by these regulations. While most devices currently have non-removable batteries, they will need to adapt to the new requirements. It remains to be seen how these companies will respond to the legislation and whether they will embrace the shift towards user replaceable batteries.

The EU’s new regulations signal a significant step towards sustainable battery usage in smartphones and other electronic devices. By focusing on user replaceable batteries and implementing strict environmental guidelines, the EU aims to reduce electronic waste and promote a more environmentally conscious approach to technology.

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