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EMF dangers?

My only concern about electric cars is the possibility of high EMFs (electromagnetic fields) inside the cabin due to the electric motor. See

I am not terribly concerned about myself but more so about the effect it could have on my kids -- since kids are more susceptible environmental toxins.

What are your thoughts on EMFs in electric cars and do we know if Tesla takes any extra precautions to mitigate the possible EMF issue?

EMF is not a toxin.

Magnetic fields in general are completely harmless, and EMF in the car is small, tiny, you get much more EMF talking to mobile or listening music in your iPod with ear buttons (that's actually a HUGE source of EMF). In fact I believe your monitor in front of you has bigger EMF field than you have from electric motor and electronics inside a car.

If I am reading the article right (on the second page):

"He said the driver was receiving “dangerously high” E.M.F. levels of up to 135 milligauss at the hip and up to 100 milligauss at the upper torso."
That would be 0.135 and 0.100 gauss respectively.

But then
0.31–0.58 gauss: the Earth's magnetic field on its surface

So is it walking on Earth's surface even more dangerous?

How about breathing gasoline fumes? And the exhaust fumes?

We are daily immersed in EMF from thousands of sources. I don't think there is a considerable risk from EMF while riding in electric cars, not bigger than walking around the appliances in your house.

Exactly Tiebreaker.

I followed the thread through and laughed when I saw the "dangerously high levels" were 100 to 135 milligauss.

Gas cars generate EMF, too. If nothing else, spark plugs are pretty noisy. In fact, they make so much noise they wouldn't pass FCC regulations for consumer electronics. If, you know, there was an ICE in my laptop. :)

I agree with the EMFs being all around you in your home, but you are not driving around inside of your toaster or sitting on top of your TV while it’s on.

Also, electric motors intentionally produce EMFs by design – that’s how they work. I’m assuming the EMFs created by the electric motor, with the several feet of coiled wired used to drive the motor that’s strong enough to propel a big heavy car forward, are much more powerful than the EMFs found in most appliances and noncoiled wiring in your home.

Anybody know of any good sources to get more information on the subject? It seems like everything I am finding is biased towards the extremes – EMFs are dangerous or EMFs are not at all harmful.

I'm leaning toward "Magnetic fields are not harmful" -party, for one very good reason: There is absolutely no scientific proof that magnetic fields cause any harm to people.

You would need a some method to transfer energy from that magnetic field to human cells and that method simply doesn't exist in magnetic fields this small. Check your clothes. I bet there is magnet somewhere. If you find one magnetic field close to that part of your body is couple of hundred, maybe thousand times higher than magnetic field inside an EV.

Also aluminum happens to repel magnetic fields, so because Model S body panels are made from aluminum you are actually better protected in it from outside EMF than in ordinary car. It also works like faraday cage, check Google what that is if you don't know.

I just love all you guys!!! I've had so much fun reading all the threads and learning, laughing... Shoot maybe even crying! I feel like I'm getting to know you all so well.. Any way my signature S can have magnetic force fields and any other life threatening doodads, and I'm still freaking stoked to own mine!! This is pretty well the sexiest piece of new technology on the planet.. That's all. Keep up the threads, I'm lovin it!

Good point on the Faraday Cage. I was hoping that there would be some kind of shielding built into the Model S along those lines to specifically limit the magnetic fields present in the cabin.

I know that there are ICNIRP guidelines for exposure to electromagnetic fields.


However, these guidelines are based on the frequencies associated with the magnetic fields, and I have no idea how this would translate to the frequencies that would be produced by the Model S.

Anybody have any idea on what type of frequency ranges these electric motors produce?

Based on the rpm figures, probably about 0.007 MHz. Average. ;)


if any health effects exist, they would arise from electromagnetic field. This means (of course you know) a self propagating field that interchanges between electrostatic field (measured in Volts/m) and magnetic field (measured in Gauss). The frequency of change is determined by the field emitting source and usually is constant.

I second Brian's statement that the frequency derives from the motor RPM which is 0 to .014 MHz. EM frequency might be 0 to .042MHz because it is a three phase induction motor. The generated fields interact within the motor, I don't expect much of that energy to leave the casing. EM fields may emanate from the AC cables as well but they are enclosed in the PEM next to the motor.

Magnetic fields with a broad but low frequency spectrum may emanate from the DC current in the cables (~900 Amps) from battery pack to PEM. These cables run in a pair, which helps canceling out the field in first order. If the PEM does a good job in smoothening the energy drawn from the battery, very low emission will come from this pair of cables.

Then all EM emitted by the "torque box" is shielded by the aluminum body, the higher the frequencey, the more absorption/reflection. Only low magnetic field components will travel through and they will transport very little energy. There are no reports indicating that low frequency alternating magnetic fields are harmful (e.g. from electric grid transformers).

My conclusion: If you worry about EM fields, stop using your cell phone.

No matter how well / bad they design the car it still have to pass FCC testing
I hope of cause that it will have an excellent protection off magnetic and electrostatic fields
as I want to be able to take my niece with me in the car (21 years old with a pacemaker)
but no matter what the requirement is I believe that Tesla will do there best to be well with in the legal limits for both US and EU

Actually, no. Automobiles are different.

Excerpt from CFR 47 Part 15:

Section 15.103 Exempted devices.


(a) A digital device utilized exclusively in any transportation vehicle including motor vehicles and aircraft.

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