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New EU legislation may bring back user-replaceable batteries

New EU legislation may bring back user-replaceable batteries

#legislation #bring #userreplaceable #batteries Welcome to InNewCL, here is the new story we have for you today:

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The EU is in full swing – first it will force smartphone makers to open their devices to third-party app stores from January 2024, then it will make USB-C mandatory for wearable electronics from late 2024, now it has reached a preliminary one Agreement mandating that portable devices have user-replaceable batteries.

The agreement covers batteries of almost all sizes – from portable batteries, automotive starting, lighting and ignition (SLI) batteries, light transportation (LMT, think electric scooters and bicycles), electric vehicle (EV) batteries and even industrial batteries.

This legislation – if passed – will give manufacturers three and a half years to revise their portable devices so that users can easily remove and replace their batteries.

User-replaceable batteries used to be the norm in smartphones, but these days they’re vanishingly rare. For the common bar form factor, this should be a relatively easy adjustment – even dust and water resistance are possible, as Samsung’s current Xcover phones and similar devices prove.

The Samsung Galaxy Xcover6 Pro is IP68 and MIL-STD-810H certified and has an easily removable battery
The Samsung Galaxy Xcover6 Pro is IP68 and MIL-STD-810H certified and has an easily removable battery

However, foldable phones can present a challenge as they often have two separate batteries, one in each “half” to balance space and weight. They are connected with ribbon cables and it will be difficult to find a design that gives users easy access. The makers have three and a half years to find out – again, if and when the legislation is passed by the EU Parliament and Council.

Each battery must carry labels and QR codes that provide information on capacity, performance, shelf life, chemical composition and a “separate collection” symbol. Also, batteries will have digital passports with information about the general battery model as well as the individual battery.

This agreement was strongly driven by environmental concerns. The plan sets minimum values ​​for recycled materials for batteries: 16% for cobalt, 85% for lead, 6% for lithium and 6% for nickel.

New EU legislation may bring back user-replaceable batteries

To feed the recycling process, the EU will mandate the collection of used batteries: at least 45% of used batteries must be collected (free of charge) by 2023, 63% by 2027 and 73% by 2030 for portable batteries. For LMT batteries it is 51% by 2028 and 61% by 2031.

In fact, all other batteries, including EV and industrial batteries, must be collected free of charge for the consumer, regardless of brand, origin and condition. Also, manufacturers selling their products in the EU must develop a due diligence policy to “address the social and environmental risks associated with the sourcing, processing and trading of raw and secondary raw materials”.

Rapporteur Achille Variati (S&D, IT) said: “For the first time we have circular economy legislation that covers the entire life cycle of a product – this approach is good for both the environment and the economy. We have agreed on measures that will greatly benefit consumers: batteries will work well, be safer and easier to remove. Our overarching goal is to build a stronger EU recycling industry, particularly for lithium, and a competitive industrial sector overall, which is critical to our continent’s energy transition and strategic autonomy in the decades to come. These actions could become a benchmark for the entire global battery market.”

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