Replaceable Batteries Are Coming Back To Phones If The EU Gets Its Way

Back in the day, just about everything that used a battery had a hatch or a hutch that you could open to pull it out and replace it if need be. Whether it was a radio, a cordless phone, or a cellphone, it was a cinch to swap out a battery.

These days, many devices hide their batteries, deep beneath tamper-proof stickers and warnings that state there are “no user serviceable components inside.” The EU wants to change all that, though, and has voted to mandate that everything from cellphones to e-bikes must have easily replaceable batteries, with the legislation coming into effect as soon as 2024.

Back To The Old Ways

Many phone batteries are designed to be non-replacaeble from the factory. Thus, when they swell up or fail, they can damage the whole phone rather than merely popping off a removable panel. Credit: Mpt-matthew, CC-BY-SA-3.0

Once upon a time, most batteries in common use were primary cells – single-use items that could not be recharged and were intended to be discarded after use. Naturally, this meant that appliances relying on battery power had provisions to make swapping cells out a quick and easy process.

Fast forward to the modern day. Many of our appliances, and particularly our phones, rely on rechargeable lithium batteries. Since they’re rechargeable, manufacturers decided we no longer needed to replace them, and started sealing them away inside devices where they were free from the meddling fingers of the unwashed masses.

Many reasons are commonly cited for this cha ..

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