European Union lawmakers reach an agreement to make USB-C charging mandatory on all phones and other small and medium-sized devices by 2024.
“No more bundles of different chargers in our drawers,” Margrethe Vestager, executive Vice President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said in a statement.
The EU hopes a universal charger will reduce carbon dioxide emissions and prevent electronic waste, while also eliminating the costs of buying multiple chargers for different devices.
Chargers that were either unused or disposed contribute to roughly 11,000 tons of e-waste each year, according to the EU commission.
“The deal we struck this morning will bring around 250 million euros of savings to consumers annually,” Thierry Breton, an EU commissioner for the bloc’s Internal Market, said on Tuesday.
The agreement stipulates that fast charging speeds must be harmonized, so that people can expect to charge their devices at the same speed regardless of the charger they use.
In addition, the legislation will let people choose whether to buy devices with or without a bundled charger, allowing them to avoid unnecessary accessories if they already have the USB-C chargers.
Devices such as tablets, digital cameras, headphones, earbuds, video game consoles, portable speakers, e-readers, portable navigation systems, keyboards and mice will need to be equipped with the port.
Laptop manufacturers have until 2026 to implement the universal charging port in their products. Electronic products released before the rule will not be affected.
The universal charging requirement could have a major impact on tech companies such as Apple, which has a unique “Lightning” connector for iPhones, iPads and other mobile products.