To lessen the amount of electronic waste the EU produces each year, the European Parliament has been a loud proponent of universal chargers using USB Type-C ports.
The new regulation requiring nearly all mobile electronics sold in the EU in the upcoming years to enable USB-C charging was officially adopted this week(opens in new tab) by the European Parliament.
All smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, headphones, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, e-book readers, portable speakers, and cameras marketed in the EU starting in 2024 will need to have a USB Type-C connection for charging.
Beginning in the spring of 2026, laptops will be subject to the rule.
Because not all laptops will be obliged to have a USB Type-C port for charging, the regulation will only apply to portable electronics that need power delivery of up to 100 Watts.
High-performance gaming laptops, for instance, won’t need to employ USB Type-C charging. Furthermore, it appears that the EU will simply require all laptops to support USB-C and would not mandate that firms like Apple erase their proprietary charging ports (such as those with MagSafe plugs).
By the end of 2024, the EU plans to harmonise interoperability standards for wireless chargers in order to ensure interoperability between devices from different vendors and prevent the technological “lock-in” effect. The common charger project is not limited to wired USB charging.
The EU will also compel hardware businesses provide chargers and gadgets with proper labelling that reflect the capabilities of new power bricks in order to aid the end user in making better educated decisions about the power bricks they should purchase for their devices.
The EU estimates that using universal chargers will enable its citizens to avoid spending up to €250 million a year on needless power brick purchases and to get rid of roughly 11,000 tonnes of electronic garbage each year.