Model S

EMF dangers?

edited November -1 in Model S
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?


  • edited November -1
    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.
  • edited November -1
    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.
  • edited November -1
    Exactly Tiebreaker.

    I followed the thread through and laughed when I saw the "dangerously high levels" were 100 to 135 milligauss.
  • edited November -1
    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. :)
  • edited November -1
    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.
  • edited November -1
    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.
  • edited November -1
    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!
  • edited November -1
    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?
  • edited November -1
    Based on the rpm figures, probably about 0.007 MHz. Average. ;)
  • edited November -1

    if any health effects exist, they would arise from <i>electro</i>magnetic 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.
  • edited November -1
    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
  • edited November -1
    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.
  • edited November -1
    Someone is missing the point?

    The interference one may worry about is of actual interested to owners that have an implanted medical device.a medical pacemaker, implanted cardioverter defibrillator, for a number of other implantable devices that have little computers inside.

    these devices are sensitive to some security devices , like airport security and the wand or magnetic hoop one walks thru.

    The concern is at Tesla Superchargers these Devices are subject to more electric interference that could lead to a total malfunction of these implanted devices. This is less than a joke if one has one of these devices implanted. Question does interference exist that could interfere with these devices operation?

    that they put over the top of you
  • edited November -1
    You could always drive a wooden car with four foot drive instead...

    <img src="; width="600" alt="The Flintstones Car">
  • edited November -1
    I wear aluminium foil on my head at all times. Doesn't stop the neutrinos, though. They just go right on through...
  • edited November -1
    @vperl maybe one shouldn't drive or be in a Tesla if they have a pacemaker. All that instant acceleration and speed can't be good for their hearts.
  • edited November -1
    Doesn't all cars have alternator and electric motors to operate fans or sometimes AC, coolant pumps, etc. that all generate EMF? I'm sure it's safe long as you don't drive it over the cliff.
  • edited November -1
    Fasckinatin. Dangerous EMF at 0 Hz!
  • edited November -1
    @vperl <i>Someone is missing the point?</i>

    <i>The interference one may worry about is of actual interested to owners that have an implanted medical device.a medical pacemaker, implanted cardioverter defibrillator, for a number of other implantable devices that have little computers inside.</i>

    I think the point missed is that one probably shouldn't rely on information from an internet forum to make life or death decisions. A couple thing I would have thought would be common sense (but apparently aren't):

    1) If you have a pacemaker or other device that is sensitive to EMF, consult your doctor and the manufacturer of whatever equipment you have questions about prior to using it, and
    2) If you have been exposed to Ebola, <strike>consult the CDC prior to boarding a commercial flight</strike> DON'T FLY
  • edited November -1
    The EMF frequency in an MS is engineered to human specs – it quietly harmonizes the nervous system, easing the mind into experiencing the moment, the drive. During acceleration one's chakras light up in succession, and remarkably as each awakes the last does not dim; at top speed the final realization of harmony with the Earth Mother crowns the prolonged release of lust as one is squeezed back into the embrace of the seat.
    If, however, one is startled from the transcendent state by intrusive thoughts of missing coat hooks or cup holders, contact your service center – it may be that the ion filter is not adequately purging your system of lingering ICE outgassing.

    This perspective is blissfully free of any tedious fact-checking, offered merely in the pursuit of balance :)
  • edited November -1
    <b>bobrobert: +1 <i><u>UP</u>!</i></b> Coneth, my Friend! <i><u>CONETH</u>!!!</i>
  • edited November -1
    The point is, DC current does not generate fluctuating fields. It cannot affect electronics.
  • edited November -1
    It seems to make sense, instead of speculating, to go buy a simple analog EMF meter (example: TriField Meter Model 100XE ) and make sure it is not exceeding the limit that would be considered by some experts to be a risk to your health or to cause a medical device functioning to be interrupted. This of course after you consult with a specialized health care provider on what the threshold limits are for those implanted electronic devices.

    I have taken several in vehicle readings myself and I believe the average car to be exposing drivers to 3-5 Milligauss at the Torso area based on my readings. For long drives in any vehicle, if you are concerned, or for people with implanted electronic devices such as pacemakers you can put on an EMF Blocking Jacket to shield yourself (example:

    I’m looking forward to a Model S P85D on its way and I’m confident that as with hybrids there is no difference versus the average EMF exposure in most other cars.
  • edited November -1
    Ah ha! This must be the reason for my testicle shrinkage! (Well, old age might have had some effect, but I really like this scientifically proven, internet supported theory, much better.)
  • edited November -1
    I expect the readings to be much lower, as the spark plugs in a Tesla fire very rarely.
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