AEMT - Association of Electrical and Mechanical Trades

Electric Motor and Drives Energy Efficiencies - 2021 Eco Design Directive

Eco Design Regulations for Electric Motors

Updated in July 2021

On July 1st, 2021, updated regulations governing the energy efficiency requirements of new electric motors were published.

This guide explains the changes and the implications for users of Electric Motors.

To download a print friendly A5 document containing these guidlines, please click on the download link below.

The following are the Eco Design Directive Details:

Commission Regulation EU 2019/1781, amendment (EU) 2021/341 sets new requirements for electric motors and variable speed drives:

This Regulation applies to the following products:

  • induction electric motors without brushes, commutators, slip rings or electrical connections to the rotor, rated for operation on a 50 Hz, 60 Hz or 50/60 Hz sinusoidal voltage, that:
    • have two, four, six or eight poles;
    • have a rated voltage U N above 50 V and up to and including 1 000 V;
    • have a rated power output P N from 0,12 kW up to and including 1 000 kW;
    • are rated on the basis of continuous duty operation; and
    • are rated for direct on-line operation;
  • variable speed drives with 3 phases input that:
    • are rated for operating with one motor refered to in point (a), within the 0,12 kW-1 000 kW motor rated output range;
    • have a rated voltage above 100 V and up to and including 1 000 V AC;
    • have only one AC voltage output. 

The requirements in section 1, and points (1), (2), (5) to (11), and (13) of section 2 of Annex I shall not apply to the following motors:

  • motors completely integrated into a product (for example into a gear, pump, fan or compressor) and whose energy performance cannot be tested independently from the product, even with the provision of a temporary end-shield and drive-end bearing; the motor must share common components (apart from connectors such as bolts) with the driven unit (for example, a shaft or housing) and shall not be designed in such a way that the motor can be separated in its entirety from the driven unit and operate independently. The process of separation shall have the consequence of rendering the motor inoperative;
  • motors with an integrated variable speed drive (compact drives) whose energy performance cannot be tested independently from the variable speed drive;
  • motors with an integrated brake which forms an integral part of the inner motor construction and can neither be removed nor powered by a separate power source during the testing of the motor efficiency;
  • motors specifically designed and specified to operate exclusively:
    • at altitudes exceeding 4 000 metres above sea-level;
    • where ambient air temperatures exceed 60 °C;
    • in maximum operating temperature above 400 °C;
    • where ambient air temperatures are less than – 30 °C; or
    • where the water coolant temperature at the inlet to a product is below 0 °C or above 32 °C;
  • motors specifically designed and specified to operate wholly immersed in a liquid;
  • motors specifically qualified for the safety of nuclear installations, as defined in Article 3 of Council Directive 2009/71/Euratom (8);
  • explosion-protected motors specifically designed and certified for mining, as defined in Annex I, point 1 of Directive 2014/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council (9);
  • motors in cordless or battery-operated equipment;
  • motors in hand-held equipment whose weight is supported by hand during operation;
  • motors in hand-guided mobile equipment moved while in operation;
  • motors with mechanical commutators;
  • Totally Enclosed Non-Ventilated (TENV) motors;
  • motors placed on the market before 1 July 2029 as substitutes for identical motors integrated in products placed on the market before 1 July 2022, and specifically marketed as such;
  • multi-speed motors, i.e. motors with multiple windings or with a switchable winding, providing a different number of poles and speeds;
  • motors designed specifically for the traction of electric vehicles.

The requirements in section 3, and points (1), (2), and (5) to (10) of section 4 of Annex I shall not apply to the following VSDs:

  • VSDs integrated into a product and whose energy performance cannot be tested independently from the product, that is to say that an attempt to do so would render the VSD or the product inoperative;
  • VSDs qualified specifically for the safety of nuclear installations, as defined Article 3 of Directive 2009/71/Euratom;
  • regenerative drives;
  • drives with sinusoidal input current.


A good repair or rewind by an AEMT member using the latest specification winding wire and insulation systems and good quality bearings will maintain, and often improve, the efficiency of a motor within its original rated efficiency level band  (see the AEMT EASA Good Practice Guide): 

Tolerances for Efficiency Levels

To comply with the regulation on nominal motor efficiency (η), the losses (1-η) should not vary by more than 15 % on power range 0.75-150 kW and 10 % on power range > 150-375 kW.



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