The European Union proposes to return removable batteries

According to the EU, the return of removable batteries makes consumers’ lives more convenient as well as reduce electronic waste

Courtesy of TechEngage

Removable batteries have become a relic of the past as non-removable batteries took over because they allow higher profits for the company (instead of replacing a battery for cheap, you have to replace the entire phone if the battery is no longer workable) as well as a more premium design such as glass and metal. Removable batteries are strictly only available for plastic devices as the back cover of those phones is easier to remove.

This week, the European Parliament has voted in favour of making batteries more sustainable by returning removable and replaceable ones. This is already a nightmare for Apple, right after the USB-C debacle.

Most batteries today are made of a lithium compound. They are found almost anywhere such as on cars, phones, everyday objects like remote controls, scooters, and energy storage. Having them removable not only extends their lifespan but also reduces e-waste which is a significant problem to the environment.

If the bill becomes a law, then companies have to comply. Companies would no longer be able to sell phones with non-removable batteries only. For those in the e-bikes and e-scooters industry, the MEPs call for independent repairers to ensure that the batteries are safely and easily removable. The new bill also proposes to prevent software or programs prohibit the use of non-replaceable batteries.

If the negotiations go well, this new law will be in-effect sometime in 2022. However, there are no ensured dates yet when it will be enforced. The council suggests at least 12-24 months of delay so that manufacturers can adapt. This could lead to repairability requirements happening far longer, possibly 2026 or so.

Source: The Right to Repair