After USB-C, EU all set to mandate user replaceable batteries in gadgets, EVs

By | November 7, 2023

The EU is considering a move to mandate user replaceable batteries in portable gadgets and EVs.

USB-C recently got mandated in the EU for smartphone manufacturers, affecting Apple’s future plans in the region for its iPhones. However, the EU is not stopping here. Based on a new report, it now seems that the EU plans to mandate user replaceable batteries on smartphones, gadgets, battery packs for starting vehicles, EVs and even industrial batteries. The discussions are still ongoing and if it comes into play, manufacturers will have a period of three years to comply.

The agreement is currently provisional and will cover batteries of all sorts of battery sizes. This will cover batteries such as portable batteries, “starting, lighting, and ignition batteries for vehicles (SLI batteries), LMT batteries, EV batteries and even industrial batteries. If the legislation is passed, all manufacturers of product using these kind of batteries will have 3.5 years to reworks their products to accommodate for user replaceable batteries.

EU is now set to mandate removable batteries

User replaceable batteries used to be a common feature on smartphones of yesteryears before manufacturers started to follow Apple and go for unibody designs. In fact, Samsung flagships from a few years ago used to feature removable batteries, and it was a common thing for affordable budget smartphones.

However, this legislation could see a lot of opposition from a lot of manufacturers, unlike the USB-C regulation. With the USB-C regulation, it was only Apple who had to face resistance since most Android manufacturers had already moved to USB-C ports on their products. With user replaceable batteries, almost all manufacturers will need to reengineer their products to accommodate for removable batteries.

In an era where companies love to flaunt sleek and stylish smartphones, the user replaceable battery designs could affect that front. It could also affect the build quality, and reduce the case for water resistant designs. The same could go for EVs and other vehicle related battery products.

Additionally, the law could also pose a huge issue for makers of foldable devices. Foldable smartphones and laptops are complex to design and build, with the batteries held together by ribbons and cables. A user replaceable battery could see these products gain weight, which is the opposite direction for this class of product.