The Commission of the European Union (EU) has proposed the adoption of uniform charging capabilities in smartphones, tablets, and other consumer electronics. This may clearly have significant consequences for developers, manufacturers, and suppliers of a wide range of portable electronic devices.
The proposal only covers cabled devices, not wireless chargers which “there is plenty of room for innovation of”, as a Commission representative stated in a recent press conference.
The proposal is partly about reducing consumer inconvenience but is apparently foremost a part of the European Commission’s overall effort to reduce the electronic waste created by using different and incompatible charging technologies for electronic devices. It is estimated that the average consumer owns three mobile phone chargers to ensure reliable access to compatible charging technologies, and that disposed chargers constitute 11,000 metric tons of e-waste every year.
The formal proposal entails amendment of the European Radio Equipment Directive, RED (2014/53/EU) to harmonize charging technologies by standardizing the use of USB-C charging ports. The proposal would also harmonize supported speeds of charging devices and unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices.
The formal approval process requires adoption by the European Parliament and the Council. Assuming that the proposal is accepted, it is expected that manufacturers will have a transition period of 24 months to take the steps necessary to comply with the amended RED requirements.
The full plan for this as of published by the European Commission can be seen here