European Union votes to move to single smartphone charger by 2024

The European Parliament on Tuesday approved a new law requiring everyday electronic devices sold in the European Union (EU) to use USB-C charging ports.

The body voted 602-13 in favor of the law, which will extend to mobile phones, tablets and cameras by the end of 2024 and laptops in spring 2026, enabling consumers to use a singular charging technology for their devices.

The Council of the European Union still must approve the measure before it is enacted, but negotiators reached the agreement in July, so the vote is seen largely as a formality.

“The common charger will finally become a reality in Europe,” Alex Agius Saliba, a member of the European Parliament from Malta, said in a statement. 

“We have waited more than ten years for these rules, but we can finally leave the current plethora of chargers in the past,” he continued. “This future-proof law allows for the development of innovative charging solutions in the future, and it will benefit everyone — from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment.” 

The requirement would apply to electronic devices operating with a power delivery of up to 100 watts, including headphones, video game consoles, speakers, e-readers and keyboards.

Lawmakers touted the bill’s environmental effects, noting that chargers account for about 11,000 tons of waste annually in the EU.

Apple has leveraged USB Type C technology for some of its chargers already. The move would require the tech giant and other companies to solely use USB-C in the EU, but it could also lead to changes in other markets.

Tags common charger European Union phone charger
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