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No danger from magnetic fields in electric cars, finds new report

Said to be the most comprehensive study in this field, the research carried out by seven countries covered electric-powered cars and those powered by hydrogen, petrol and diesel and found that none of them exposes passengers to higher electromagnetic fields than those recommended in international standards. In fact, field intensity is well below the recommended value.

The research was carried out by Norwegian firm SINTEF in partnership with nine other European companies and research institutes.

“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.

Under the tests, the intensity of magnetic fields in seven different electric cars, one hydrogen car and one petrol car were measured in order to ascertain whether they approach the recommended limiting values for human exposure. The measurements were carried out using real cars in a laboratory and during road tests.

The highest values in electric cars were measured near the floor, close to the battery itself and when starting the cars. In all cases, exposure to magnetic fields is lower than 20% of the limiting value recommended by the ICNIRP.

In the case of petrol and diesel powered cars, exposure was measured at around 10 per cent of the limiting value, showing that there is little difference between electric cars and petrol and diesel cars.

The survey concludes that magnetic fields in electric cars are well below the limiting values, and that there is a good safety margin.

‘There is absolutely no cause for concern,’ summarised Schjølberg-Henriksen.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.

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