The European Union will impose the universal charger by 2024

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The European Union will impose the universal charger by 2024< /p> @ThierryBreton/Twitter screenshot "More savings for European consumers, and less waste for the planet", said Thierry Breton on 7 June.

Saved expenses, less waste and better respect for consumer rights thanks to a universal charger? This Tuesday, June 7, an agreement was reached between the European Parliament and the Council (which represents the 27 member countries of the EU) to impose a single wired charger on all “small and medium-sized” electronic devices, at large dam from Apple who is challenging this decision.

Towards a single universal charger?

Within two and a half years, the European Union will require a USB-C port charger for cameras, mobile phones, tablets, gaming consoles, etc. games, headsets, e-readers and other “most commonly used” electronic products. Laptops will also have to comply with this rule by 2026.

Published yesterday, the European Parliament justified the decision in a statement: “Under the new rules, consumers will no longer need a different charging device and cable each time they buy a new device. , and will be able to use a single charger for all their small and medium-sized portable electronic devices”.

Each electronic product must be equipped, by the fall of 2024, “with a USB Type-C port, regardless of their manufacturer”, it is specified in the press release. The Parliament also indicated that “laptops will also have to adapt to the requirements within 40 months of the entry into force of the text”, i.e. by 2026. The political agreement reached on Tuesday still has to be formally approved in autumn by the European Parliament and the Council.

Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, shared his enthusiasm on Twitter: “We have an agreement on the common charger! More savings for European consumers, and less waste for the planet. Smartphones, tablets and cameras will now have USB-C. Fast charging technology will be harmonized, sales of chargers will be unbundled. European Union interest has prevailed,” he exclaimed.

< blockquote class="twitter-tweet">

We have a deal on the #CommonCharger!

More savings for EU consumers & less waste for the planet:

mobile phones, tablets, cameras… will have #USBtypeC

harmonized fast-charging technology

unbundling of sale of chargers

The EU general interest has prevailed! pic.twitter.com/i2UAE7kzyI

— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) June 7, 2022

The slow race for the universal charger in the face of disgruntled Apple

The idea of ​​setting up a universal charger dates back to 2009. On the other hand, given the reluctance of the technology industry on possible economic losses, it had been put on stand-by. However, over the years, from about 30 chargers in 2009, the number has grown to three models: the micro USB connector, USB-C, and Apple's Lightning.< /p>

The giant Apple has fiercely opposed the European Union's decisions, arguing that it will “stifle innovation” and cut off the EU – subject to a choice of “outdated” standards – from the rest of the world. world.

By disqualifying some of the chargers and smartphones in circulation, Brussels “will impose significant losses on manufacturers, reduce consumer choice and generate additional electronic waste”, Apple argued on Tuesday. “Let's say it clearly: if Apple wants to market its products (in Europe), we will have to respect our rules (…) We have to think about the environment”, retorted Thierry Breton.

More more money and less waste?

According to the agreement reached between EU member countries and the Council, European consumers are spending nearly 2.4 billion euros and this agreement would save millions. “These new obligations will lead to greater re-use of chargers and will help consumers save up to €250 million per year on unnecessary charger purchases”, says the European text.

The “programme action plan”, guiding the EU's environmental action for the period 2021-2030, advocates the “transformation of the EU into a low-carbon economy and measured in its use of resources”, with a better treatment of waste, a fight against waste, and for recycling… Electronic waste generated by discarded and unused chargers “represents approximately 11,000 tonnes of electronic waste per year”, underlines the text. Les Échos reports that this could lead to a reduction of nearly “1,000 tonnes of waste”.