Are high-power electric vehicle chargers safe in patients with pacemakers and defibrillators?

By Dr. Ahmed El-Medany

A new study published in Europace by Lennerz et al. aimed to evaluate the potential electromagnetic interference (EMI) that high-power charging stations for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) could have on patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs).

The study included 130 patients with CIEDs who performed 561 charges of 4 BEVs and a test vehicle using high-power charging stations while under continuous 6-lead electrocardiogram monitoring. The results showed no incidences of EMI, such as over-sensing, pacing inhibition, inappropriate tachycardia detection, mode switching, or spontaneous reprogramming.

The risk of EMI on a patient-based analysis was 0/130 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0%–2%), and the risk of EMI on a charge-based analysis was 0/561 (95% CI 0%–0.6%). The study found that the use of electric cars with high-power chargers by patients with CIEDs appears to be safe, with no evidence of clinically relevant EMI. However, the authors recommend that reasonable caution be taken to minimise the time spent in close proximity with the charging cables, as the occurrence of very rare events cannot be excluded from the results.

Overall, the study provides valuable information for healthcare providers and patients with CIEDs regarding the safe use of high-power charging stations for BEVs.

Read the full study here: