We have already written on several occasions about the upcoming EU directive on charger standardization. Of course, we would all like to have one standard for all mobile phones, tablets, laptops and related devices, but is it possible to achieve this with a political decision?
As the main reason for the introduction of this regulation, the EC Commission cites the constant increase in electronic waste, which is certainly a justified fear, but it is questionable to what extent the directive will succeed in solving this problem.
The point is that there are several factors in standardization, not just the shape of the groove, which the EU Commission is fighting for. It is important to them that all devices have the same slot, but they ignore other factors. One example is the protocols that USB-C supports. So through USB-C, in addition to power transfer, you can have Ethernet, Thunderbolt, video, audio, data transfer, etc. If your USB-C slot in your laptop, for example, does not support audio, but offers it via a 3.5 mm slot, then you will not be able to use your USB-C headphones.
There is also the problem of USB-C classifications, such as USB 3.2 or USB 4. If you need faster data transfer, you will buy the appropriate cable, as in the previous case, headphones with the appropriate slot.
The biggest problem will certainly occur with charging standards. The commission has even managed to prescribe that chargers must be Power Delivery compatible, but the problem of cables remains, which can and do not have to release stronger current. So, there will be a need for other solutions again.
Recall, the EU Commission also wants laptops to use the USB-C standard, which many wish for more since Apple introduced it in MacBook computers, but in the latest generation it has returned MagSafe, which is objectively the best laptop charging system ever.
And finally, the funniest part of this story is that the regulations will take effect in 2024, and by then many protocols will be replaced by new ones, which in turn will create certain incompatibilities.
And once all the slots look the same, only then will users encounter problems because many will not know which slot supports which protocol, so even more confusion is possible.
In any case, the intention of the EU Commission is good, but it will be difficult to implement in practice, while the reduction of electronic waste will have a negligible impact.
The whole story is similar to the one with limiting the power of the vacuum cleaner to 1400 W, in order to supposedly rationalize electricity consumption, but on the other hand it is not a problem that many electric cars have an output of 400 KW, not to mention the problem of battery disposal.
Thus, after cream and cheese, and the prescribed form of tomatoes, the EU Commission has once again shown itself in its true light.