USB-C: EU Negotiators Clarify Final Details For Uniform Charging Cables

In the future, USB-C will be the standard charging socket for numerous devices in the EU. A possible standard for wireless charging is still controversial.

Negotiators from the EU states and the European Parliament could agree on standard charging cables for electronic devices in the EU this Tuesday. They meet in the morning for what may be the final round of negotiations. Final details have to be clarified. If there is an agreement, uniform charging cables could be introduced in mid-2024.

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Both sides already agree that USB-C should become the standard charging socket. Until recently, there was still some debate about which devices, in addition to cell phones, should be specifically affected by the new regulation. In addition, it must be clarified which conditions should apply in future for the separate sale of devices and cables and whether a standard for wireless charging should also be agreed.

Such legal requirements for charging cables have been the subject of debate for a long time. The Commission first raised the issue more than ten years ago. 14 manufacturers – including Apple – agreed to a uniform standard for mobile phone power supplies in a voluntary commitment. 

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When it comes to the sockets in smartphones and tablet computers, there are only three of the dozen types left: USB-C, Apple’s Lightning connector and micro-USB.

According to the EU Commission, the regulation could save almost 1,000 tons of electronic waste. Currently, an estimated 11,000 tons of electronic waste is generated annually from discarded and unused chargers.

However, critics fear that the EU approach could come to nothing, since old chargers can no longer be used and USB-C has become increasingly established as the standard for electronic devices in the past.

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