Europe Plans Law to Give All Phones Same Charger

sees WALL-E atop a skyscraper made of compressed trash on an future-abandoned Earth … Buy-n-Large - we are your friends ! :sweat:

Does anyone have any assessment how wall-socket standardisation (per country) slowed down the innovations and progress? Are US mains sockets more innovative which would explain their technical advance? I’m sure there should be quite significant figure, as it is happening now for almost a century.

A standard charger could prevent more power hungry models being developed.

A standard charger could rule out having wireless charging (whether that’s a good thing or not, I don’t know).

I don’t see how that may be true. The rule may stop you using non-standard cable on your charger, but it cannot stop you using no cable at all.

I see. You’d rather be an Eloi then… :smiley:. I would argue that free markets don’t work in that regard and a market distortion is welcome, but I see no value in discussion that kind of political Weltanschauung here in these forums. The charger for the L5 has been decided on, the rest is … well… round-table talk :smiley:.


Yes, it is not risky nor harmful, it is needed. On the other side, EU legislation acts will not expire, those are or will be established in timely matter and only replaced to allow for better solutions. For example you mentioned LED bulbs: Regarding products with CRI < 80, DE considered it important to put on the light source packaging that such light source is not suitable for household/interior use. If you ask me, as indoor use customer, I’d like to put in there CRI < 90, at least.

As I see it, whole discussion here is e-waste related. This thread topic EU legislation procedure dates back to March 2014, as @Caliga already pointed out. United Nations E-waste Coalition recognizes well that we have regions sending e-waste and regions receiving e-waste, etc*. And as manufacturer’s approach to the problem already discussed, here is “free and openlink to Design Considerations from Texas Instruments about USB type C Power Delivery (USB‐C Eco System): “One benefit of the wide‐spread adoption of this open standard is a realistic path to a universal charger and e‐waste reduction.


I agree. Might be just coincidence or even some kind of well thought out initiative/consequence (I don’t know), but it looks like HyperJuice 87W Dual USB-C PD 3.0 Charger implements can-power-them-all (eventually to include Librem 13/15 v5) standard. In addition, credit card size 100W charger from HyperJuice is now on Kickstarter. Smaller size is just typical for the new generation of Gallium Nitride (GaN) chargers (from ANKER, RAVPOWER, …). Another example of the same standard shows Ravpower PD Pioneer 61W GaN Tech USB-C Wall Charger that provides DC 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/3A, 20.3V/3A from only one USB-C socket.

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It depends on whether the rule controls “the cable” or “the charger”.

If the intention is that one charger from any vendor can charge all phones then this clearly rules out wireless charging for one phone unless all phones use wireless charging.

I have some reservations about this law.

One thing I wonder about is what the scope of “all portable devices” is. Even if all new models of phone after a certain date in the future must use a “standard” USB-C charger and not come with a charger, what about simpler devices that are “portable devices” but which can’t justify a USB-C port?

Another thing is the “bad charger” attack. In some respects it was a terrible idea ever to charge any device via a data port - and total standardisation makes that problem worse. In some respects it is more secure to have a dedicated charging port, just like the good old days when you used a Coaxial power connector.

As already stated, this could prevent future more power-hungry devices. However that could be a good thing or in any case could be intentional on the part of the EU parliament.

I think Apple is right that this is anti-innovation. However that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a bad law. It just means that environmental considerations have been prioritised over innovation considerations. We also don’t know what future innovations are being given up i.e. it is largely impossible to quantify the cost of this law.

Adding: If the EU really wanted to do something good, both for consumers and for the environment, they should mandate easily-replaceable batteries in all phones.


But if there is EU law mandating a particular charging scheme (assuming Purism doesn’t get miraculously lucky), does that not put Librem 5, and therefore Purism itself, at risk?

There is talk. There is a plan. It is not (yet) law. Even if it became law tomorrow, it is likely that there would be a phase-in period. The phase-in period could be some years (perhaps 3?). So I expect that Purism can deliver all of Evergreen without worrying about this. For sure, it could be a hassle in the future if the law specifies a particular charger and it is not USB-C.

No, a) it will only affect new models that are to be approved, models already on the market are not going to become suddenly illegal.
b) using USB-C the L5 is going to be likely on the safe side anyway.

In terms of reducing e-waste it would be silly for it to be otherwise. If an existing model suddenly becomes illegal (whether to own or to sell) then there would be a mountain of unnecessary e-waste, which would be completely counterproductive.

That is a really good connector. I use those in my tractor.


USB-C can deliver quite a lot of power (up to 100W with the proper cables, 60W with regular ones). Not enough to fast charge your Tesla, but then, this legislation doesn’t apply to EVs.

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And so it has been adopted, 582 to 40 votes in favour.


As usual government hacks don’t understand technology nor free or capitalistic markets. Many phones already use the same couple cable types. Let the market and technological progress decide the cables used. And before someone says I support companies monopolizing charging cables, that’s not what I’m saying either.

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It is unclear what precisely has been adopted, and when it would take effect.

Members of the European Parliament voted by 582-40 for a resolution urging the European Commission, which drafts EU laws, to ensure that EU consumers are no longer obliged to buy new chargers with each new device.

OK, so it’s only “urging”, we have no idea whether or what the EC will come up with by way of law, hence no idea of when it would take effect and what it would mandate.

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This really ought to be in Round Table but …

Waste is an example of market failure. Companies can procure whatever resources they need at market price, sell to consumers at market price, and when the item is no longer needed, it becomes waste - that the company does not pay for the disposal of, and nor is it priced into the transaction at any stage (so also not paid for by the consumer).

Consumption of finite resources could also be construed as an example of market failure. While the market may price well the use of the resource at the time of procurement, it does not and cannot price well the resource on an NPV basis. In other words, there is a far future opportunity cost in not having any of chemical element X left that is in practice impossible to quantify.

Roughly speaking, these are examples of externalities - where society as a whole is bearing a cost that is not accounted for let alone compensated for by the company that makes the profit.

If we are going to let the market decide, here is an alternative resource consumption model. The company buys the resource from society on a leasehold basis, it uses the resource to manufacture an item, makes a profit selling it to the consumer … but when the item is no longer needed, the consumer gives it back to the company, who must deconstruct the item and return the resources to the society, in order to satisfy the terms of the lease.

(One obvious problem with this is that the company may have ceased to exist or be insolvent by the time the item is given back by the consumer. Indeed this model may encourage phoenixing - and in any case would be difficult to enforce in a world of global trade.)