Updated energy requirements for electric motors

On 1 January 2021, the EU will extend the Ecodesign rules to include new and more ambitious energy requirements for electric motors in the size range 0.12 kW - 1000 kW. The requirements are being implemented to phase out the least energy efficient motors on the market.

A new and more ambitious Ecodesign directive is on the way, covering several types of electric motors. The new rules mean that all electric motors with a power output between 0.75 kW and 1000 kW must have an energy class corresponding to at least IE3. Most OEMs both within and outside of Europe will therefore be affected by the EU directives.

The amendments officially entered into force on 1 January 2021 and consist of three phases implemented between 1 July 2021 and 1 July 2023. The directive, which entered into force on 1 January 2021, applies to induction motors for continuous operation via the mains and which have 2, 4, 6 or 8 poles and a power output between 0.12 kW and 1000 kW.

Extended scope and VFD exception removed

In particular, there are three points to pay special attention to in relation to the new rules:

  • The scope has been extended from 0.75 kW - 375 kW to 0.12 kW - 1000 kW.
  • 8-pole motors are now also included and Ecodesign will now apply to 2, 4, 6 and 8 poles.
  • Previously, motors supplied by frequency converters (VFD) only needed to be IE2, even though the requirement was actually IE3. This exception has been removed.

Phased changes

From 1 July 2021:

All electric motors with a power output between 0.12 kW and 0.75 kW must meet the requirements for energy class IE2, while 0.75 kW to 1000 kW must be in IE3 as a minimum.

From 1 July 2022:

Motor suppliers will be required to test all electric motors based on different speeds, unlike the previous situation, in which testing was performed only at full speed and with different loads. This is because more and more VFD-controlled applications are entering the market, running at widely different speeds and loads.


From 1 July 2023:

Ex eb increased safety motors from 0.12 kW to 1000 kW and single-phase motors from 0.12 kW upwards must meet the requirements for IE2. All standard motors from 75 kW to 200 kW must meet the requirements for IE4.

Integrate now

Hoyer Motors recommends that OEMs think about including more energy efficient motors in their product designs, as this will reduce the overall climate footprint of the industry and future-proof products.

"As an OEM, you should already be conscious of introducing this in your new design. It would be regrettable to spend thousands of engineering hours developing an application that cannot be sold on the market from 2021 because the product is installed with a motor that is not efficient enough," says Thomas Vase, Product and Application Specialist at Hoyer Motors.

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