The EU is considering a move to make user-replaceable batteries mandatory in portable devices and electric vehicles.
USB-C was recently made mandatory in the EU for smartphone makers, affecting Apple’s future plans in the region for its iPhones. However, the EU does not stop there. Based on a new report, the EU now appears to be planning to mandate user-replaceable batteries for smartphones, gadgets, battery packs used to start vehicles, electric vehicles and even industrial batteries. Discussions are still ongoing, and when it does come into play, manufacturers have a three-year deadline to comply.
The agreement is currently preliminary and will cover batteries of all types and sizes. This includes batteries such as portable batteries, vehicle starting, lighting and ignition (SLI) batteries, LMT batteries, EV batteries and even industrial batteries. If the legislation is passed, all manufacturers of products using these types of batteries will have 3.5 years to revise their products to make them suitable for user-replaceable batteries.
The EU is now ready to make replaceable batteries mandatory
User-replaceable batteries used to be a common feature of smartphones in years past, before manufacturers started following Apple and going for unibody designs. In fact, a few years ago, Samsung flagships featured removable batteries, and this was common among affordable budget smartphones.
However, unlike the USB-C regulation, this legislation could meet with great resistance from many manufacturers. Only Apple had to face resistance to the USB-C regulation, as most Android manufacturers had already switched to USB-C connectors on their products. With user-replaceable batteries, almost all manufacturers have to redesign their products to accommodate user-replaceable batteries.
At a time when companies like to flaunt sleek and stylish smartphones, user-replaceable battery designs could make that front. It could also affect build quality and reduce the case for waterproof designs. The same could apply to electric vehicles and other vehicle-related battery products.
In addition, the law could also pose a major problem for manufacturers of foldable devices. Foldable smartphones and laptops are complex to design and build because the batteries are held together by straps and cables. A user-replaceable battery could cause these products to gain weight, which is the opposite direction for this class of product.