EU Adopts Law Requiring Universal USB-C Phone Chargers By 2024

From CNET: It looks like the lightning cable's days are numbered -- in Europe at least. The European Parliament passed a long-awaited law on Tuesday demanding that by 2024 all phone makers must be compatible with a universal charger. And the one charging technology to rule them all has been identified as USB-C.

Establishing a rule around a common charger has been in the works now for ten years, but the EU only finalized the legislation in June. In Tuesday's vote, members of the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the rule, with 602 votes for, 13 against and 8 abstentions. The law will apply not only to phones, but also to tablets, digital cameras, headphones, handheld consoles and most other small devices. From spring 2026 the law will also apply to laptops.

The idea behind the legislation is to reduce the amount of electronic waste the tech industry generates and help people make more sustainable choices. That means finally saying goodbye to that drawer full of mystery, proprietary charging cables and instead trusting that whatever device you buy, you'll always be able to use USB-C. As part of the new rules, buyers will be able to choose whether or not their new device comes with or without a charging cable.

"This future-proof law allows for the development of innovative charging solutions in the future, and it will benefit everyone -- from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment," said Alex Agius Saliba, the Parliament's rapporteur in a statement.

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