EU Wants User-Replaceable Smartphone Batteries

The European Union has approved new rules that will make it much easier for consumers to replace their smartphone battery....
EU Wants User-Replaceable Smartphone Batteries
Written by Staff
  • The European Union has approved new rules that will make it much easier for consumers to replace their smartphone battery.

    The vast majority of smartphones sold are sealed devices that require special tools to open and service them. The EU’s new rules would see smartphone design return to the days when phones had a back panel that could be easily removed, providing access to a replaceable battery.

    The new rules passed with overwhelming support, according to the EU Parliament:

    With 587 votes in favour, nine against and 20 abstentions, MEPs endorsed a deal reached with the Council to overhaul EU rules on batteries and waste batteries. The new law takes into account technological developments and future challenges in the sector and will cover the entire battery life cycle, from design to end-of-life.

    The rules outline what would be required of OEMs:

    Designing portable batteries in appliances in such a way that consumers can themselves easily remove and replace them

    The rules would also require manufacturers to provide a carbon footprint declaration and label; meet minimum thresholds for the amount of rare elements that must be recovered from old batteries; and meet stricter waste collection thresholds.

    “For the first time, we have circular economy legislation that covers the entire life cycle of a product – an approach that is good for both the environment and the economy,” Rapporteur Achille Variati (S&D, IT) said. “We agreed on measures that greatly benefit consumers: batteries will be well-functioning, safer and easier to remove. Our overall aim is to build a stronger EU recycling industry, particularly for lithium, and a competitive industrial sector as a whole, which is crucial in the coming decades for our continent’s energy transition and strategic autonomy. These measures could become a benchmark for the entire global battery market.”

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