Mobile Phone Chargers

European Parliament votes in favour of common chargers

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European Parliament wants a standard for a common charger to be adopted urgently, measures empowering consumers to make sustainable choices and decrease e-waste generated in Europe (16.6 kg on average per inhabitant).

The European Parliament has voted in favour of a common charger between manufacturers and urged the European Commission to adopt binding rules by July 2020.

Parliament wants the Commission to adopt the delegated act foreseen in the 2014& Radio Equipment Directive by July 2020 or, if necessary, table a legislative measure by the same date, at the latest. The resolution passed with 580 votes to 40 votes.

Parliament also wants the Commission to:

  • take measures to best ensure the interoperability of different wireless chargers with different mobile devices
  • consider legislative initiatives to increase the volume of cables and chargers collected and recycled in EU member states
  • ensure that consumers are no longer obliged to buy new chargers with each new device: strategies to decouple; the purchase of chargers from the purchase of new devices should be introduced with a common charger solution, MEPs say, stressing however that “any measure aiming at decoupling should avoid potentially higher prices for consumers”.

The resolution highlights wireless chargers as a way to reduce electronic waste. However, the rules in the new legislation ensure that chargers can work with various phone brands.

Apple argued against a common charger, stating that this will eventually stifle innovation. Furthermore, it will create electronic-waste since existing Lightning Chargers and Cables will need to be replaced out for USB-C, the preferred common standard.

All iPhones are equipped with Lightning ports while most smartphone brands have already switched to USB-C. Effectively, the only company greatly affected by the change is Apple.

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