Europe has voted: tomorrow, all in USB-C!

Alexander Boero

October 04, 2022 at 1:40 p.m.



© Sergey Kardashev / Shutterstock

The European Parliament approved this Tuesday, October 4 the new legislation on the universal charger. USB-C is thus crowned king, for 14 product categories in total.

First appearing in the minds of the European legislator 10 years ago, the idea of ​​a universal charger for portable devices is about to become a reality. The European Parliament has very broadly adopted (602 votes for, 13 against and 8 abstentions) the legislation which will allow consumers, by the end of 2024, to charge all their electronic devices with a single charger, of the USB-C type.

Smartphones, tablets and cameras at the end of 2024, and computers in 2026

This time, it’s done ! Parliament had been calling for the introduction of a universal charger for years, tired of unsuccessful collaboration with industry and a fruitless reduction in the number of chargers. The legislative proposal presented by the European Commission on September 23, 2021 was adopted by Parliament on October 4. But for what concrete changes?

In order to give the various manufacturers some time to comply, it is only by the end of 2024 that all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the territory of the European Union must be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port.

Another source of satisfaction for the consumer: this obligation will be extended to portable computers from the spring of 2026. The logical approach will certainly help to reduce the quantity of electronic waste and will allow consumers to make more sustainable choices, by renewing their chargers and devices less often.

Charge your device at the same speed with any compatible charger

The magic of the text means that European consumers will effectively no longer have to buy a different charger when they acquire a new device. One and the same charger can be used for various equipment. In total, and regardless of the brand of the device, 14 categories of products will have to be equipped with a USB-C port.

We thus find mobile phones, tablets, headphones, headsets, cameras, portable speakers, keyboards and mice, e-readers, portable video game consoles, portable navigation systems, in-ear headphones and laptops rechargeable by cable, provided their power is less than or equal to 100 W. Parliament adds that the charging speed will be the same for all devices equipped with fast charging.

The EU estimates the saving for consumers at 250 million euros per year, in addition to the saving on the carbon footprint. Today, it is considered that the chargers that are thrown away or that remain in a cupboard without ever being used represent 11,000 tonnes of electronic waste each year in the area.

By the end of 2024, the European Commission will have to ensure that interoperability requirements are harmonized. However, the text provides that it will not apply to products placed on the market before the date of application.

Source : European Parliament

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