No Significant Danger From Magnetic Fields Of Electric Cars
May 5, 2014

No Significant Danger From Magnetic Fields Of Electric Cars

Brett Smith for - Your Universe Online

Researchers at Norwegian research organization SINTEF have found that there are no significant dangerous magnetic fields emanating from electric cars – countering rumors that the vehicles are hazardous.

The organization said consumers should feel safe driving in hybrid, electric, hydrogen-powered and other alternative-fuel automobiles. Based on its tests, the organization said magnetic field intensity is far below the recommended safe value.

“There is a good deal of public concern about exposure to magnetic fields. The subject crops up regularly in the media. With the number of electric-powered vehicles increasing, this project is very relevant,” said Kari Schjølberg-Henriksen, a physicist at SINTEF.

Along with increasing the public assurance when it comes to magnetic fields in electric vehicles, the objective of the project was mainly to generate a consistent method for gauging electromagnetic fields in these newer vehicles, SINTEF said.

The project looked at the power of magnetic fields in seven electric cars, one hydrogen vehicle and one conventional car. The vehicles were assessed in order to determine if they are near the advised limiting levels for human exposure. Measurements were completed using real cars in both a laboratory and real world setting.

The maximum values in electric cars were assessed close to the floor of vehicles, near the battery itself and when starting up the cars. In every case, contact with magnetic fields is less than 20 percent of the limiting value suggested by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). Readings taken at head-height are under 2 percent of the same limiting level, the researcher said.

For conventional and diesel-powered cars, exposure level was scored at around 10 percent of the limiting value – meaning there is little distinction between electric cars and conventional cars.

The Norwegian researchers concluded that electric cars are well within acceptable safety limits.

“There is absolutely no cause for concern,” Schjølberg-Henriksen pointed out. “The difference between this research and similar earlier work is that we have taken into account what contributes to the magnetic fields. The rotation of the wheels themselves generates considerable magnetic fields, irrespective of vehicle type.”