A group of high-profile US senators is urging the US Commerce Department to follow the EU’s footsteps and adopt a common charger law. EU regulators recently succeeded in making USB-C the standard charging port on all phones sold in Europe starting in 2024, which should make life easier for consumers and also reduce electronic waste.
As reported by The Verge, senators Edward J. Markey, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders sent a letter yesterday to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to ask the Department of Commerce “to follow the EU’s lead by developing a comprehensive strategy to address unnecessary consumer costs, mitigate e-waste, and restore sanity and certainty to the process of purchasing new electronics.”
The three senators emphasized in the letter that having a common charger would not only be beneficial for the environment, it would also help consumers to save money. “Innovation should benefit consumers. It should not come at their expense, saddle them with incompatible accessories, and compel them to purchase different charging equipment for each device they own.”
In the conclusion of the letter, the senators urge the Secretary of Commerce “to coordinate with offices and agencies across the Department of Commerce to develop a comprehensive plan that will protect both consumers and the environment by addressing the lack of a common U.S. charging standard.”
These are pretty strong words from the three US senators, who lauded the EU’s forward-thinking approach throughout the letter. While there could be some pushback from tech giants, a common charger seems inevitable at this point and even Apple is getting ready to leave its proprietary Lightning port behind. The next entry-level iPad coming later this fall is expected to adopt a USB-C port, and the first USB-C iPhones may be released as soon as next year.