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    EU is one step closer to forcing replaceable and removable batteries

    Phone
    By 

    Last updated: July 13th, 2023 at 13:43 UTC+02:00

    The European Parliament is one step closer to requiring manufacturers to equip phones, tablets, and other types of devices with removable and replaceable batteries. Earlier this week, the EU Council adopted a new regulation that “strengthens sustainability rules for batteries.” The EU regulation concerns the entire life cycle of batteries to ensure they are “safe, sustainable, and competitive.”

    As far as consumers and Samsung fans are concerned, the regulation claims that “portable batteries incorporated into appliances should be removable and replaceable by the end-user” by 2027.

    The European Commission states that manufacturers, including Samsung, Apple, and others, should have ample time to adapt their hardware and design to meet the new EU regulations by 2027.

    But does this mean toolless replaceable and removable batteries will be back in the traditional sense of the word? Not necessarily.

    Samsung may have already adhered to the new rules

    As far as the EU's proposal is concerned, a portable battery is one that can be removed “by the end-user […] with the use of commercially available tools and without requiring the use of specialized tools, unless they are provided free of charge, or proprietary tools, thermal energy or solvents to disassemble it.”

    In layman's terms, the European Commission is trying to make batteries easier to replace, but the regulations don't state that users should be able to replace batteries without any tools whatsoever. Therefore, phone designs that permit toolless battery replacements in the traditional sense might not make a comeback in 2027, or ever.

    More specifically, what's happening is that the EU requires OEMs to make batteries easier to replace with commercially available tools. If that's not possible, the EU then requires OEMs to provide advanced/proprietary tools free of charge. But again, the regulation doesn't state that self-contained user-removable batteries need to return.

    As far as Samsung goes, it already moved closer to adopting the EU's new rules. Batteries that power Galaxy phones released in 2023 are not glued to the frame anymore. The new batteries sit in special adhesive pouches, and users can remove them with relative ease without using a heat gun or solvents.

    Granted, although Samsung's batteries are now easier to replace thanks to this change, the disassembly process — starting with a phone's glass back panel — isn't any easier. But Samsung might not need to do any further design changes by 2027 to meet the European Commission's demands.

    Aside from replaceability, the EU Commission has set new waste collection targets for battery manufacturers (63% by the end of 2027 and 73% by the end of 2030). The EU also set a target of lithium recovery of 50% and a recycling efficiency target of 80% for nickel-cadmium batteries by 2027.

    Via PhoneTabletWatch EuropeSamsung Electronics

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