EMF exposure in EV

EMF exposure in EV

I was ready to pull the trigger on a model X over the weekend. What pulled me back was the magnetic field exposure that has me concerned. I spend numerous hours researching the harmful effect of eletromagnetic exposure to humans. Armed with a trifield EMF meter, I went to a tesla service center where I was kindly assisted by the tech advisor who allowed me to sit in a model X with the battery on. I took 3 readings for each seats: floor, seat, eye level. As expected when I moved further from the floor battery, the exposure reading decreases. At the floor it read 12 microTesla (120 milliGauss), on the seat .36 microTesla, at head level 0 microTesla. According to the EMF meter gauge, any reading above .3 microTeslas (3 milliGaus) is considered unsafe. I expects the reading to be higher as the car accelerates to speed. Is there any product that can shield these potential harmful magnetic field? I thought that since MX is constructed out of aluminum, it would help in blocking these harmful EMF. Can someone shed more light on this topic to put me more at ease? As of now I will be on the fence. Thanks to everyone for contributing to this topic. | June 19, 2018

@naiguy: Have you read through the material pointed to by your link? None of them that I scanned find harmful ELF field strength in their measurements including a Tesla Model S in at least one paper.

naiguy | June 19, 2018 Do you know what levels in Milligaus are unsafe? I am planning to bring a meter to test the car later today at Tesla.

Yodrak. | June 19, 2018

I sometimes wonder why so many people use the 4-word, 19-letter (including spaces) phrase "pull the trigger on" when the simple 3-letter word 'buy' is so much easier to write. | June 19, 2018

@naiguy: I am hardly an expert on the topic but the EMF hazard is related to frequency. At very low frequencies it appears that less than 1000 milligauss is safe. The following is a very readable reference on the subject from the WHO. (

You will need to calibrate the measurement by measuring the field strength at a point in space in the absence of the car and then the same point when it is inside the car. The presence of overhead power lines with their 60 Hz AC fields and the earth's DC magnetic field (250 to 650 milligauss) provide the baseline.

SO | June 20, 2018

@naiguy - something else is going to take you out way before EMF radiation from a Tesla. I guess you can stick with a gas car to where you are breathing in more harmful fumes.

jordanrichard | June 20, 2018

Seriously? Think of all the AC motor devices you are already exposed to. Ever use a hand held hair dryer, ANY power tool, vacuum cleaner, etc. How about that microwave in your kitchen that is actually designed to radiate to the point of cooking stuff.

SUN 2 DRV | June 21, 2018

SO +1

Gasoline is a known direct cancer risk, besides all the air pollution side effects. OP so before you get too concerned about EMF in an EV, give some thought to what alternative you'll drive instead...

"Studies in humans and animals have shown that gasoline contains a number of cancer-causing and toxic chemicals such as 1,3-butadiene, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, isoparaffins, methyltert-butylether, and others. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in its Monograph Supplement 7 (1987) concludes that "in the absence of adequate data on humans, it is biologically plausible and prudent to regard agents for which there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals as if they present a carcinogenic risk to humans." Epidemiological studies in humans provide important evidence of potential increased risk of leukemia, lymphatic tissue cancers, cancers of the brain, liver, and other organs and tissues."

BozieB | June 22, 2018

He does have viable concerns and if I remember correctly, certain religious groups have a disdain for the mechanical world that we live in. But, even those groups won't own electrical tools because of their beliefs, yet they will use them if the tool is offered.
Kinda how I feel about my microwave, I know it can be dangerous if misused, so I keep my head out of it and I don't lay on the floor on my Tesla when barreling down the road! /H

mschaffer11 | June 22, 2018

Nonissue. Toby has mental health issues.

Tesla2018 | June 22, 2018

Is it safe for people with pacemakers to ride in electric cars or will the electromagnetic fields cause it to malfunction. Please dont call me with the answer since I am afraid to answer my cellphone since the microwave radiation from it might eat away at my brain and I cant use a landline since I am afraid of lighting hitting a telephone pole and electrocution. I cant send smoke signals since the fire will cause global warming and the seas will rise and I cant swim. And I cant mail letters since seeing that George Costana's fiancee died from licking poisonous envelopes. I can only go out at night since the sun puts out too many UV rays and sunsceen causes cancer. But I am afraid of vampires and the boogeyman that come out at night. I need lithium and zanax to help cure my paranoia but am afraid to take them. I am so scared that I want to end it all by jumping off a building, but I am afraid of heights.

RoadsterOwnerX | March 3, 2020

Many studies do show harm to living organisms from chronic exposure to EMF. This includes damage to cells, destruction of DNA, and the many disorders that stem from such damage such as reproductive issues and cancer.

The statement "there is no evidence" is so outdated that many have continued to repeat it without noticing that the evidence is starting to pour in. Here's a link to 500 such studies to get you started:

Many techies and tech execs themselves have gotten sick and begun speaking out. The former CTO of Nokia, former president of Microsoft Canada, a former Netflix & Silicon Graphics exec... you can find their talks online. I myself have a degree in computer science, have been a tech professional my entire adult life, and was one of the first owners of the Tesla Roadster, which I still drive and love.

What we can conclude from mounting evidence, is that constant EMF exposure from an unprecedented and ever-increasing number of smart-everything sources is simply not a good idea.

For many of us, Tesla is our vehicle of choice. We ourselves are innovators, love EVs, and Musk's other visions too.

Thankfully, EMF in EVs can be easily mitigated with some inexpensive shielding around the motor and battery. And to be fair, some owner testing shows that the shielding on recent Teslas is fairly good (though many of the videos online are by people who have little idea what they're doing, have the wrong meter, or the right meter on the wrong setting).

There is something even simpler that Tesla could do right now to significantly reduce EMF exposure for those who care — give owners the ability to turn the vehicle's cellular, WiFi, and Bluetooth radios 'off', which are otherwise constantly on.

This could be achieved with a simple software update to the vehicle. And of course we would welcome the vehicle checking in periodically for software updates.

Since other car manufacturers don't do OTA software updates — but also pack their cars with a gaggle of always-on cellular, WiFi, and Bluetooth features — Tesla could again set itself uniquely apart by giving its drivers this ability. Then those who are so inclined can give themselves a rejuvenating break from EMF while they sleep, and while they drive.

Xerogas | March 3, 2020

The energy from the electromagnetic radiation of a single candle flame is many orders of magnitude higher than WiFi. And that’s a WiFi transmitter, which Tesla does not have.

andy.connor.e | March 3, 2020

Different frequencies of EMRs penetrate and affect surfaces differently. Candle flame, which emits infrared and visible spectrum does not penetrate deep into skin. WiFi at 2.4GHz is the same as microwaves. It has been proven they those waves penetrate your skull. You are affected by your daily EMR exposure to the sun, everyones wifi around you, your cellphone, cell towers, radios, various smart devices that emit their own wifi signals. When you add it all up its quite alot.

Same concept as "count your chemicals" with food/water intake.

RickD | March 4, 2020

There is so much EMF in the world today, I doubt that driving an EV makes a major difference here...

derotam | March 4, 2020

Xerogas, would you care to expound on your statement about the candle. Sources?

derotam | March 4, 2020

@RoadsterOwnerX: So i am always curious with the people like yourself that make such statements. If you think all this emf is THAT harmful, then what do YOU do to limit YOUR exposure? Or do you just care about others well-being and not car about your own?

I'm not trying to be an a-hole, I'm just trying to see where you stand personally on the subject when you make those statements.