Should I Sit in a EV While My Tesla, LEAF, BMW i3, Kia Soul, Bolt, Volt or Any EV is Charging or Fast Charging?

I have been an EV driver for almost four years. At first I, would leave my dog in the car to run into the store while my car was charging at 240 Volts until I read the manual.  What I learned made me to decide to never ever stay or be in an electric vehicle while it is charging. Should I sit in vehicle while it is trickle, 240 or fast charging? I say no way—and “It’s better safe than sorry.”

The Nissan LEAF manual states

If you use any medical electric devices, such as an implantable cardiac pacemaker or an implantable cardiovascular defibrillator, check with the electric medical device manufacturer concerning the effects that charging may have  on implanted devices before starting the charge operation because  Charging may affect the operation.

If you have an implantable cardiac pacemaker or an implantable cardiovascular defibrillator, while the Li-ion battery is charging:

  • Do not stay inside the vehicle.

  • Do not go inside the vehicle, for example to remove or place an item in the passenger compartment.

  • Do not open the rear hatch, for example. to remove or place an item in the cargo area.

  • Charging may affect the operation of electric medical device and result in serious personal injury or death

Let’s think about it for a moment—the electromagnetic energy from a car charging can affect a pacemaker or medical device. Human beings are electromagnetic beings—-Would you stand under a power line or live under a power line by choice?

Recent cell phone usage studies found that cell phone use over 10 years causes an increased risk of acquiring certain types of brain tumor and salivary cancer—-that’s from exposing your head an face  about 1 kilowatt hour per year.  A low-end electric car will have a 24 KW battery pack that is 24 times more than a year of cell phone use… There is no mention of medical devices in a Tesla 3 manual.  It could be the 1920’s when everyone smoked cigarettes it wasn’t until decades later that manufacturers put warnings on the cigarettes.

We electric car owners don’t want to be the test subjects for new cancer studies—I see people all the time sitting in a BMW i3, Chevy Volt, Chevy Bolt, Telsa and even a Smart EV.  I do not ever sit in my car while it is charging—there is no need for me to be there.  I go walk some where.

According to the Chevy Bolt manual:

Do not attempt to disconnect the DC vehicle plug while charging is active. This action may damage vehicle or charging station hardware.

Never leave children unattended near the vehicle while the vehicle is charging and never allow children to play with the charge cord.

This vehicle has systems that operate on a radio frequency that complies with Part 15/Part 18 of the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules and with Industry Canada Standards RSS-GEN/210/216/220/251/310, ICES‐001.Operation is subject to the following
two conditions:

1. The device may not cause harmful interference.
2. The device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation of the device.

These are also serious consideration–children shouldn’t play with cords—-nor adults. If there is a power surge caused by lightening I would not want to be a charging vehicle.

What if water gets in the charger?

Although the charging port is waterproof—something metal or conductive could affect the charging port. Do you want to be in a vehicle when it catches fire: Not me—-

What if the batteries leak?

Leaks or damage to the Li-ion battery may result in a fire. If you discover a leak, contact emergency services immediately. Since the fluid leak may be lithium manganate from the Li-ion battery, never touch the fluid leak inside or outside the vehicle. If the fluid contactsyour skin or eyes, wash it off immediately with a large amount of water and receive immediate medical attention to help avoid serious injury.

Should a repair shop bake or use heat on paint when when repairing an electric vehicle?

In the event of an accident that requires body repair and painting, the vehicle should be delivered to your dealer the Li-ion battery pack and high voltage parts such as the inverter, including the wiring harness, removed prior to painting. Li-ion battery packs exposedto heat in the paint booth will experience capacity loss. Damaged Lion battery packs may also pose safety risks to untrained mechanics and repair personnel.

What do I do if I am in car accident in an EV—is it safe?

If you are in car accident in an EV, you should use the same precautions you would in any car accident. Pull over to the side of road, if it is safe. If you are not on a freeway, get out of the car. If you feel heat or smell something burning, stay away from the car, warns Dr. Greg Less, battery expert at the University of Michigan.

EVs are by far less flammable than gas tanks however there have been a few batteries—do you want to be in the car when it happens? Probably not.

If you have any questions please put them in the comments below. If you have ever experienced headaches feeling dizzy or tired after sitting in a electric vehicle while it is charging please tell us in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “Should I Sit in a EV While My Tesla, LEAF, BMW i3, Kia Soul, Bolt, Volt or Any EV is Charging or Fast Charging?”

  1. There is no reason to panic over manufacturer CYA/Just-In-Case information required by their legal departments to reduce liability. I have been driving various Nissan Leafs since 2011. I’ve sat in the car while charging more times than I can count. I didn’t want to, but when I did, getting out and finding something else to do wasn’t an option. These days public charger placement is much better and it’s generally unnecessary to stay with the car. Over the years I’ve never encountered any issues electrical, mechanical or physiological (my annual physical is on the 11th, we’ll see). My mother has had a pacemaker since 2004. She’s had one with built in DeFib since 2016. She has never experienced any issues in our Leaf. I drive her everywhere she needs to go and she’s sat with me in the car at least a dozen times while charging.

    In the case of un-plugging during charging the manufacturer warning is common sense to protect idiots from themselves. If you unplug a 240v/50a charger cable while charging it’s going to arc. That arc is going to fry most, if not all of your charging equipment and onboard electronics. DUH! I don’t think it’s possible to unplug a Level-3 connection without turning it off. At least not CHAdeMo. But, if you unplug a live 800v/150a connection the arc would probably cause catastrophic damage to you and the car, a basic understanding of electricity should make that obvious. Manufacturers have to create the warnings mentioned here to protect themselves from the truly stupid people who might use their products.

    What if water gets in the charger? The charger won’t work without a solid ground connection. If water somehow finds it’s way into the charger the charger will immediately (I’m talking scant milliseconds) disconnect and will not restart until the water is removed and a proper ground restored. There is ZERO chance of a vehicle fire in this scenario. However, the EVSE might smoke a little. This falls under the same category as “you can’t run a EV through a car wash” nonsense.

    The rest of the advice here is very good. However, I have some friends who had a car pull out in front of their Tesla Model-X while going 40 mph last year. The other driver never looked and literally drove in front of them an instant before the collision. No way to stop. Everyone panicked when the Model-X cabin filled with smoke. Driver and passengers escaped with only bruises. Turns out when the smoke cleared it was from the airbags. No fire. The other driver spent weeks in the hospital.

    Reply
    • No matter what, I would never leave anyone in the car with pacemaker or medical device while it is charging—-just as a precaution—- Does your mother know that Nissan warns against pacemaker or medical device users while the car is charging? Driving fine–but not while charging–I would check with her doctor. Some devices may be better made than others.

      A long time ago my grandmother had a pacemaker—she wasn’t supposed to be exposed to microwave ovens. Just in case, my mother unplugged the microwave. While my grandmother was visiting my mother put something in the microwave and attempted to turn it on–but it was unplugged!

      Reply

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