A new study from researchers in Germany has found that the electromagnetic fields generated by popular plug-in electric vehicles — the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Tesla Model S 85, and the Volkswagen e-up!, to be more specific — don’t appear to interfere with the correct functioning of pacemakers and defibrillators.
Such implanted heart-regulation devices are known to be affected by some technologies that produce electromagnetic fields, so the findings are notable, even if the study size perhaps wasn’t substantial enough to rule out rare events (as the authors acknowledge).
Also notable is that most plug-in electric vehicles feature electromagnetic shielding of various kinds, and for various reasons. So it’s not too surprising that the findings came out the way that they did.
“Our study suggests that the electromagnetic fields generated by electric cars do not cause malfunctions,” explained lead author Dr Carsten Lennerz, of the German Heart Center Munich and the German Center for Cardiovascular Research.
Reuters provides more: “They also assessed how well pacemakers and defibrillators worked for 108 patients with these implanted cardiac devices who sat in the cars during simulated driving and charging tests. None of the cars appeared to interfere with patients’ heart devices, the study found…The study, however, might not have been large enough to detect rare problems or accurately reflect what might happen across a broad population of people with heart problems who rely on pacemakers and defibrillators, the authors note.”
“Patients with pacemakers and defibrillators should see these results as encouraging for their safety in electric cars, but should be wary that rare events may still occur,” Lennerz noted in an email exchange with Reuters.
The new study was published in journal the Annals of Internal Medicine.