By 2027, Smart Phones Will Be Required to Have Replaceable Batteries





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The European Council has made a decision regarding a regulation proposed earlier this year mandating smartphones come equipped with replaceable batteries. The Council ruled in favor of the regulation, which also extends to all types of batteries including smartphones, electric vehicles, industrial batteries, and electric bikes.

Starting in 2027, all manufacturers will need to comply in order to sell their products in the European Union to create a “circular economy”. The batteries would need to be easily replaceable by consumers without special tools and be sent to a recycling center instead of heading to a landfill.

“Batteries are key to the decarbonization process and the EU’s shift towards zero-emission modes of transport. At the same time end of life batteries contain many valuable resources and we must be able to reuse those critical raw materials instead of relying on third countries for supplies,” said Teresa Ribera, Spanish Minister for the ecological transition. “The new rules will promote the competitiveness of European industry and ensure new batteries are sustainable and contribute to the green transition.”

The collected batteries would be mined for their useable components, such as lithium, cobalt, lead, and nickel. As reported by Android Authority, all OEMs will need to collect 63 percent of batteries that would otherwise be trashed. In 2030, 75 percent of batteries need to be slated for recycling. Lithium recovery will need to hit a target of 50 percent by 2027. By 2031 80 percent of lithium in a dead battery needs to be recovered.

The Council also set minimum requirements for how much recycled materials be included in the creation of new batteries: 85 percent for lead, 16 percent for cobalt, 6 percent for lithium, and 6 percent for nickel.

Even though the new regulation will only be enforced within the EU, it will have wide-reaching effects for companies based all over the world. Companies will need to redesign their products to comply with the regulation and only have a short few years to do so. Smartphone companies will have to completely overhaul their current designs which don’t have a way for consumers to remove the battery themselves.

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