EU approves plan to make USB-C universal charger from 2024
A new EU directive has been approved this week that will spell the end of having multiple different chargers for mobile phones, tablets, cameras, headphones and electronic devices. Charging sockets will be standardised from mid-2024.
USB-C will be universal charger in EU from 2024
As Anna Cavazzani, confirmed on Tuesday, the EU member states and EU parliament have agreed to make the USB-C the standard charging cable for numerous different electronic devices.
In future, the USB-C connector will be the standard for charging cables across the European Union, meaning manufacturers will in future be forced to phase out other types of connectors, including Apple’s Lightning Connector and micro-USB.
According to Cavazzini, the new regulation will apply to smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones and portable speakers. So long as the device is large enough to fit a USB-C connector, it will also include laptops, e-readers, keyboards and computer mice, navigation systems, smartwatches and electronic toys. For laptops, there will be a longer transition period.
New directive could save up to 1.000 tons of electronic waste
Currently, an estimated 11.000 tons of waste is generated each year from discarded and unused chargers. The EU Commission has pushed through the law on the basis that it could save up to 1.000 tons of electronic waste each year.
The Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU) welcomed the decision, with a spokesperson stating, “The best waste is still that which is not created in the first place.” The association said it believed the decision would be welcomed by consumers as well, who would appreciate the convenience of having a universal charger for all their devices.
However, the law’s critics have argued that it changes little, since older types of chargers can no longer be used and USB-C chargers have pretty much become standard in recent years.