Common Chargers for Mobile telephones and other compatible devices
RECHARGE answer to the Commission Inception Impact Assessment.
The European Commission has requested feedback on the intended initiative aiming at standardizing the chargers of various electronic devices. RECHARGE acknowledges the interest of assessing the impact of standardization and availability of a common charger. Based on RECHARGE’s expertise acquired during the Commission pilot project for Product Environmental Footprint of batteries, RECHARGE would like to suggest some recommendations on the global benefit of this approach.
Key Batteries performance recommendations
Batteries life duration depends significantly on the charging control parameters, such as maximum current, minimum and maximum voltage, and temperature limitation. These parameters are controlled through electric and electronic components, either placed in the charger or in the battery itself. To provide benefit for users and the environment, the common charger approach should:
➢ Ensure to not generate a reduction of the battery service, or even a safety incident.
A non-optimized charging of the battery can significantly reduce the life duration of the battery, up to 30% or more. The risk of a lack of technical compliance of a common charger to various batteries technologies should be addressed, and particularly for various type of devices, as indicated in the possible extension of the scope: “As an indication, equipment that could fall under scope of this initiative could be tablets, cameras, portable GPS devices, radio controlled toys and any other devices with compatible current requirements”.
Moreover, if the charging conditions are too different from the specification, the charging process can eventually lead to irreversible battery damage, or fire risk. Cases of safety incidents, due insufficient quality or technical specification of the chargers (i.e. hoverboards and e-cigarettes), or counterfeit products, have already been identified and should be prevented.
➢ Prove to not increase the global environmental impact of the device, due to a potentially reduced life duration of the battery.
The environmental impacts of the representative use case should be compared when using a common charger versus a charger optimized for the device -including potential battery life reduction, and/or additive charger features for multiple battery types- to verify the benefit of the proposal.
RECHARGE feedback to Inception Impact Assessment on common chargers