The European Parliament supports enforcing a universal charger for new phones and other devices in the European Union. If the EU countries agree, EU citizens can use a USB-C adapter for every device for two years.
The rule will apply to small and medium-sized devices such as tablets, digital cameras, e-readers and headphones. iPhones and other Apple products must also be USB-C, despite the resistance of the American company. Laptops will also fall under the new rules, although manufacturers will be given a little more time for this.
The arrival of a universal charger should make it easier for consumers. Now they still have to buy confusingly many different chargers and always have to pay for them. The new rule also saves a lot of waste, advocates hope.
The EU has been working to reduce the number of chargers for more than a decade. She had previously hoped that manufacturers would choose a joint plug, but that never happened. So now that the European Parliament has agreed, the floor is left to the EU countries. They reached an agreement in principle with parliament before the summer.
The enforced standard for chargers, the world’s first, could go into effect in the fall of 2024. The EU hopes the rest of the world will follow suit. However, the European market counts so heavily that manufacturers may already switch to USB-C completely on their own accord.
The European Commission estimates that the new rules will save consumers €250 million in costs and 11,000 tons of electronic waste every year. Still, some MEPs are not satisfied yet. There are also votes for a standard charger for electric bicycles and tools and a standard for wireless charging.