The European Union’s plan to set USB-C as the new charging standard on portable devices reached a new milestone yesterday. MEPs from the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee agreed with a proposition the European Commission made last fall, and the revised Radio Equipment Directive now aims to standardize wireless charging as well.
Members of the European Parliament want to reduce electronic waste by requiring small and medium-sized electronic gadgets to all use USB Type-C ports for charging. However, MEPs would allow an exception for smartwatches, health trackers, and other devices too small to have a USB-C port.
“With half a billion chargers for portable devices shipped in Europe each year, generating 11,000 to 13,000 tonnes of e-waste, a single charger for mobile phones and other small and medium electronic devices would benefit everyone,” said Alex Agius Saliba, the MEP responsible for handling the legislative proposal.
MEPs also want the European Commission to address the rising fragmentation in the wireless charging market. “We are proposing a truly comprehensive policy intervention, building on the Commission’s proposal by calling for the interoperability of wireless charging technologies by 2026 and improving information given to consumers with dedicated labels, said Agius Saliba.
After the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee adopted its position on the revised Radio Equipment Directive yesterday, the European Parliament will need to approve it with a full vote next month before discussions regarding the details of the legislation can really begin.
If European institutions have been trying to enforce a common charger solution for many years, a company like Apple, which sold over a billion devices using the company’s proprietary Lightning port, has been very reluctant to adopt USB-C on its iPhones and iPads. However, things are slowly starting to change with recent iPad Pro models making the switch to an USB-C port.