EU wants to force manufacturers to create user-removable battery by law

By | 27/02/2020

Battery dischargingDo you remember old phones and laptops? They (almost) all got user removable battery. I remember my first laptop, MacBook White Early 2008, which I got from my parents for school. It had removable battery. After some years, I was forced to remove battery and to run solely on charger, because battery was getting bigger and bigger. I would be able to replace it by my own, but I did do it, because it that times, battery was more expensive than moral value of that laptop. Manufacturers are making thinner and thinner laptops and smartphones, but at the cost of modularity. As for laptops, there are many models which got insanely thin, but nothing is user-replaceable, including RAM, SDD and the battery, the components that should be replaceable in laptop.

I know that laptops by desing are not like big desktop computers. Laptops have to be thin and light – in other words, portable – so no 30 kg computer. I know is difficult to develop laptop with upgradeable GPU and CPU, and there are not many models where you can update such components and these models are not light and thin and their weight is far from 1 – 2 kg. But integrating SSD disk and RAM modules into motherboard is just silly. And the same for battery. These three components should be user-removable.

Here in European Union, government don’t like fact that customers are forced to go to service for battery replacement. It’s like with chargers – EU leaders want only one, standard port, most likely USB-C, because it has big environmental impact to include charger for every device because of many ports. And no, reductions are not solution, because these reductions must someone manufacture and having many reductions for different ports is also huge environmental impact.

Leaked proposals from the European Union suggest, that all smartphones will be forced to use user-removable battery. It was leaked by Dutch publication Het Financieele Dagblad. This proposal is far from being confirmed and it’s not even public. Proposal should be officially unveiled in March.

EU government said, that users of smartphones should not rely on outside help (often payed) in such situations.

Modular battery design has it disadvantages too. It may be possible, that smartphones could be thicker and to lose waterproofing.

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