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EM safety and Hazards Mitigation by proper EV design

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Electric cars: No risk for human health

An EU-funded project conducted a comprehensive study to identify different sources of magnetic fields in electric vehicles (EVs). Results showed that there is little difference in magnetic field exposure from vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs).

Health

In an effort to reduce noxious emissions and promote energy independence and public health, high priority is given to move towards the electrification of road transportation. Despite the multitude of benefits associated with EVs, some concern has been raised about the possible health effects of electromagnetic field radiation for people who drive these cars. To increase public awareness and improve confidence regarding magnetic fields in fully EVs, researchers initiated the EU-funded project 'EM safety and hazards mitigation by proper EV design' (EM-SAFETY). Researchers performed magnetic field measurements on nine different EVs and three ICE cars. Measurements were taken inside the vehicle by a developed flexible monitoring platform with sensors on the head, chest and feet. Results showed that the field intensity was less than 20 % of the limit recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). In the case of gas- or petrol-powered cars, exposure was measured at around 10 % of the limiting value. Based on the measurements and extensive simulation work, EM-SAFETY developed low-emission cable, connector and design concepts and guidelines for minimising magnetic field exposure further. Project partners implemented these design guidelines and new components in a newly developed EV in cooperation with another EU project, WIDEMOB. Another important task was to assess the impact of magnetic exposure on biological matter. The work progressed with experiments on different mammalian cell lines by exposing them to low-frequency magnetic fields under controlled conditions. There was no evidence of any carcinogenic effect of such magnetic fields, nor were cancer cells found to be stimulated to grow by the magnetic fields. EM-SAFETY contributed to the development of a European standard reference technology platform for EV design that contains architectures, models, and tools for verification, validation and testing. Dissemination activities include the project website, a press release, publications in peer-reviewed journals and workshops.

Keywords

Human health, magnetic fields, electric vehicles, electromagnetic field, radiation

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