High-efficiency motors

The increase in the purchase price for energy-efficient drive systems is often quickly recovered thanks to the overall savings in energy costs.

The Directive 2009/125/EC establishes a Community framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-related products. It provides, through a series of intermediate steps, for specific regulations for electric motors in order to improve their consumption and performance in terms of energy efficiency.
74% of electricity consumption in the industrial sector is derived from the use of electric motors; if all the old systems that have worked so far were to be replaced by high-efficiency drives in Europe, this would result in annual energy savings of 135 billion kilowatt hours.

Efficiency determines how an electric motor efficiently transforms electrical energy into mechanical energy.

The International Standard IEC 60034-30 defines 4 efficiency classes IE (international efficiency) for three-phase motors:

  • IE1 = standard efficiency;
  • IE2 = high efficiency;
  • IE3 = premium efficiency;
  • IE4 = super-premium efficiency.

Regulation (EC) No. 640/2009 indicates the minimum eco-design requirements for electric motors and the use of speed control; the regulation includes three-phase asynchronous motors at 50 Hz and 60Hz, with cage rotor and one speed with the following characteristics:

  • Rated voltage between 50V and 1000 V;
  • Rated power between 0.75 kW and 375 kW;
  • 2, 4 and 6 poles;
  • For continuous duty.

Continuous duty means duty types S1, S3 >=80%, S6 >=80%.

From 1 January 2017 motors with a rated power between 0.75 kW and 375 kW must have a minimum efficiency class IE3, or minimum IE2 if driven by an inverter.
The above mentioned regulation is repealed as of 1st July 2021 and replaced by Regulation (EU) 2019/1781 which extends the range of motors concerned. The power range has been increased from 0.12 kW, 8 poles and single-phase motors have been added.

The Regulation also apply to self-braking motors where their efficiency can be verified by excluding the braking system.

The efficiency specifications will follow the following schedule:

  • 1st July 2021:
    • class IE3 for three-phase motors with power ratings equal to or higher than 0.75 kW
    • class IE2 for three-phase motors with power between 0.12kW and 0.75 kW
  • 1st July 2023:
    • class IE2 for single-phase motors with power equal to or higher than 0.12 kW

The above-mentioned Regulations do NOT apply to motors fully integrated in a product (e.g. in a gearbox, pump, fan or compressor) for which it is not possible to test the energy performance independently from the product and to self-braking motors. They also do not apply to motors designed to work:

  • at more than 4000 m a.s.l.;
  • at ambient air temperatures above 60 °C;
  • at ambient air temperatures below -30 °C.


We have therefore made the range of three-phase motors with efficiency class IE2 (up to 0.55kW) and IE3 (from 0.75kW) available to our customers.


Regarding the future IE4 class, we are designing the range of internal permanent magnet synchronous motors. More information can be found here.