EU to require handheld devices to have replaceable batteries by 2027

It remains to be seen what impact this might have worldwide

iPhone 14

The European Union has ruled that all portable devices will need to have replaceable batteries by 2027.

According to the Council of the European Union, the decision has been made to “regulate the entire life cycle of batteries — from production to reuse and recycling — and ensure that they are safe, sustainable and competitive.”

It adds that this “will apply to all batteries including all waste portable batteries, electric vehicle batteries, industrial batteries, starting, lightning and ignition (SLI) batteries (used mostly for vehicles and machinery) and batteries for light means of transport (e.g. electric bikes, e-mopeds, e-scooters).”

“A portable battery shall be considered readily removable by the end-user where it can be removed from a product with the use of commercially available tools, without requiring the use of specialized tools, unless provided free of charge with the product,” adds the Council of the European Union.

Naturally, this will include phones and gaming handhelds, so it’s possible that future iterations of the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy devices, Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck, among other devices, could be affected. (Of course, we don’t actually know when the Switch successor is set to release, although it’s speculated that it will arrive sometime next year.)

It should be noted that while this is a European ruling, the implications of forcing a company to produce specific versions of technology could, of course, have an impact on the products that are released elsewhere.

It’s worth mentioning that we’re seeing a similar situation play out in the phone space. The EU ruled that Apple must release a USB-C iPhone instead of its usual model that supports its proprietary Lightning to USB. This order came as part of a larger effort to reduce e-waste — in this case, customers having to throw out old cables that are no longer compatible. Apple VP Greg Joswiak confirmed last year that the company would have to comply, although he complained heavily about it in the process.

Via: Eurogamer