Having spent the better part of January reigniting the push for one common smartphone charger, the European Parliament has voted to push forward with idea.
Last month Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) said that there was an urgent need for EU regulatory action regarding the use of different charging ports.
A vote was called to decide whether manufacturers would have to adopt a single charging port standard for all devices and as it stands, it looks like they just might have to.
The MEPs voted for the regulations with 582 votes for, 40 votes against with 37 abstentions.
The European Parliament has now told the European Commission that it should adopt the 2014 Radio Equipment Directive by no later than July 2020.
“Without hampering innovation, the EU executive should ensure that the legislative framework for a common charger will be ‘scrutinised regularly in order to take into account technical progress’. MEPs reiterate that research and innovation are vital to improve existing technologies and come up with new ones,” said the lawmakers.
In short this issue comes down to an over-abundance of ewaste. The European Parliament reports that each there were 12.3 million tonnes of ewaste in Europe in 2016, or 16.6kg for every person in Europe.
Parliament also said that the Commission should consider the following when creating the regulations:
- Take measures to best ensure the interoperability of different wireless chargers with different mobile devices
- consider legislative initiatives to increase the volume of cables and chargers collected and recycled in EU member states
- ensure that consumers are no longer obliged to buy new chargers with each new device
With these wheels now set into motion, one has to wonder what Apple will do moving forward.
Despite the Cupertino firm making its qualms about moving to a standard charging port known, it appears as if those worries were not as great as the European Parliament’s concerns.
It does look like we’ll be seeing a standard charging port in Europe before 2020 is up but what that standard will be remains to be seen.
Perhaps the more concerning question is whether manufacturers will bow to Europe’s demands. While Apple is the odd one out when it comes to charging ports (many Android manufacturers have switched to USB Type-C) it would be interesting to see if Apple’s port was made a standard.
We never thought we’d be so invested in a story about charging ports but here we are.