Removable batteries will return to smartphones and other devices in
Hardware

Removable batteries will return to smartphones and other devices in the EU

Until recently, almost every gadget had a battery compartment, opening which any user could remove and change the battery. Although most smartphones and other devices now use non-replaceable batteries, the situation in the EU promises to change very soon. Local parliamentarians have voted in favor of a law on the use of removable batteries, which should come into force as early as 2024.

    Image source: StockSnap/pixabay.com

Image source: StockSnap/pixabay.com

Since most devices are now equipped with fairly “long-lasting” lithium batteries, the manufacturers have decided to completely deny users the opportunity to replace them themselves – the relevant compartments can usually not be reached without special tools and special knowledge. The new law will affect a wide range of electronics, from smartphones to electric scooters.

While non-self-replaceable devices are often smaller, thinner, and in many cases waterproof, they have a number of disadvantages. In fact, relatively inexpensive models are often easier and cheaper to throw away than to bring in for repairs, although previously you could get away with buying a new battery and replacing the battery in a few minutes.

The new EU law explicitly states that batteries can be easily changed and disposed of – we are talking about all kinds of electronics, including “light vehicles” such as electric bikes and electric scooters. By January 1, 2024, such devices must be designed to be replaced with “simple and commonly available tools” that allow replacement “without damage to electronics and devices.” In addition, manufacturers must provide documentation describing the procedure for removing and replacing the battery – they must be published on the Internet throughout the estimated life of the device.

    Image source: Adobe Stock

Image source: Adobe Stock

The change in law should seriously change the design of devices for the European market, as “integrated” batteries are used in almost every electronics from smartphones to action cameras to electric razors. Of course, nothing is impossible in the initiative.

This will also contribute to the EU e-waste plan. Specifically, participating countries must collect at least 45% of their spent batteries by the end of 2023 and up to 80% of their spent batteries by the end of 2030. The law regulates the collection of industrial, automotive and other batteries.

Another useful innovation is that by 2030, industrial and electric vehicle batteries must contain at least 12% cobalt, 85% lead, 4% lithium and 4% recycled nickel, and by 2035 – 20% cobalt, 10% lithium, 12% nickel. The numbers for lead will not change as the infrastructure for its recycling is already well developed.

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Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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