View Full Version : 2027 EU regulation. Removable batteries.

18th July 2023, 08:15

The next iterations of the Nintendo Switch, Steam Deck and others could come with replaceable batteries thanks to a new EU regulation - one that forces all devices, including handheld games consoles, to come with replaceable batteries by 2027.

But think about this. This also includes all smartphones and tablets. If they must require a removeable battery this will end water and dust protection, and having to redesign with removeable batteries will mean thicker cases and probably heavier devices. They can only make them so thin at the moment because they can integrate everything and squeeze it all in.

Is this a good regulation? Or will it lead to some manufacturers ending sales in Europe? Or maybe only releasing some models there?

19th July 2023, 00:04
Without more details it's hard to make a truly informed judgement but it sounds like this could have some benefits for the user, and while I get that corporations gotta make money (CEOs gotta eat too! and with the price of energy it's expensive to keep the pool heated), I think that this could be the start of a good thing. If some of the e-waste is reduced, and devices can last a bit longer, well there are two positives.

From the article ""a portable battery shall be considered readily removable by the end-user where it can be removed from a product with the use of commercially available tools, without requiring the use of specialised tools, unless provided free of charge with the product"." gives companies a fair bit of wiggle room to achieve this.

So we aren't talking about old nokia phones with batteries that slid out with the press of a button. I remember changing the battery in my iphone 4S, many moons ago, and it really wasn't that hard. The most annoying thing was trying to get a decent battery as ebay is full of "genuine" bits. If this also leads to manufacturers made it easier to get real genuine spare parts that'd be a really good thing for the user.

For water resistance, I think a bit about my g-shock watch. Yeah it's well sealed from brand new but when the batteries need to be changed I could get it done at the little kiosk in the shopping centre and lose that water resistance OR I could take it to a proper service centre and get it resealed and pressure tested. So I don't think this has to automatically mean the end of water or dust resistance.

Thinness - devices are so thin now, and they feel so fragile. And they have weeny little batteries AND get hot. Personally, I could live with something a little bit thicker and maybe stronger or better engineered (I have an ipad with a bent corner currently, as a personal example). Other than bragging rights over a simple number, at some point the push for thinner and thinner doesn't seem to bring much benefit to me