The Ecodesign 
Directive – for 
a green Europe.

We have the answers to your questions about the new Energy Efficiency Regulation


The Ecodesign Directive – also known as the ErP Directive – imposes new minimum efficiency levels for electric motors and reduces the previous exceptions. If you sell machines with electric motors within Europe, they must meet the higher energy efficiency requirements from July 1, 2021. This represents an opportunity to optimize the energy balance of your machine.

We are ready and waiting to make implementation as easy as possible for you. Find out if you are affected by the Energy Efficiency Directive and if you need to take action.

Or are there specific questions that you need answering, for example about efficiency classes such as IE3?

Perhaps you also want to have someone at your side to support you through every phase of the changeover and work with you to develop a future-proof and energy-efficient solution.

On this page, we answer your questions and help you identify any affected electric motors. We will help you transition to a future-proof solution, quickly and flexibly.

Perfect advice – With Lenze

This film will help you quickly grasp what the Ecodesign Directive is all about and what this regulation has to do with you. You will also find out when to take action with regard to the electric motors you use and how we can support you in this. Get a quick and compact overview.

Other countries, other energy efficiency requirements: An overview

Do you export your machines to countries outside the EU?

Requirements on the use of energy-efficient electric motors also apply there. We have laid out these country-specific requirements clearly for you.


Lenze Ecodesign Factsheets

Quick check: How to become future-proof and energy-efficient

Our step-by-step checklist lets you scrutinize which of your electric motors fall within the scope of the Ecodesign Directive and what concrete steps need to be taken to switch to a future-proof solution.

FAQs: Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Ecodesign Directive

No matter what you want to know about the Ecodesign Directive and its implementation, this is the place to get the right answers to your questions.

What general information should I know about the Ecodesign Directive?

What is the Ecodesign Directive?

The Ecodesign Directive is a legal framework established by the European Union (EU). As such, it requires manufacturers of energy-related devices to increase the energy efficiency of their products while reducing their environmental impact. This applies to consumer goods such as washing machines as well as industrial products such as electric motors. 

The detailed energy efficiency requirements for certain product categories are described by the EU in implementing measures. Commission Regulation (EC) 640/2009 is an implementing regulation that lays down specific minimum efficiency levels for electric motors. 

For the sake of simplicity, we will use “Ecodesign Directive” as an umbrella term, even when referring to the implementing regulation for electric motors.

When will the Ecodesign Directive enter into force?

Electric motors have had to fulfill the requirements of the Ecodesign Directive since as far back as 2011. Following tightening measures in 2015 and 2017, the requirements are set to become even more stringent as of July 1, 2021, with the introduction of the new Commission Regulation 2019/1781.

Where does the Ecodesign Directive apply?

As a legal framework of the EU, the Ecodesign Directive is valid in all EU member states. It also applies in the following countries:

  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Switzerland 

How does the Ecodesign Directive differ from standard IEC 60034-30?

The IEC standard divides electric motors into classes according to their efficiency and identifies them using IE codes. This makes the efficiency of electric motors internationally comparable. The following four efficiency classes are currently defined:

  • IE1 – Standard efficiency
  • IE2 – High efficiency
  • IE3 – Premium efficiency
  • IE4 – Super premium-efficiency 

However, the IEC standard does not require minimum efficiency levels. These are specified in regional laws, such as the implementing regulation of the Ecodesign Directive, and may differ from region to region.

Which requirements in particular will have to be fulfilled in the future?

From July 1, 2021, electric motors newly placed on the market will have to comply with the following energy efficiency classes:

  • Rated output power of 0.12 kW and less than 0.75 kW: IE2
  • Rated output power of at least 0.75 kW and not more than 1,000 kW: IE3

Additionally, electric motors newly placed on the market will have to comply with the following energy efficiency classes from July 1, 2023: 

  • Rated output power of at least 75 kW and not more than 200 kW: IE4

What does “placing on the market” mean?

No new electric motors that fall short of the latest requirements may be placed on the market within the area of application after the stated cutoff dates. “Placing on the market” means making a new product available for the first time on the market consisting of the European Economic Area. The entity responsible for placing a product on the market can be a manufacturer or an importer.

Products that are exported and do not remain in the European Economic Area are not considered “placed on the market”. These products may, therefore, continue to be sold within the European Economic Area but must not be marked with a CE logo. The seller must inform the customer that the product is not suitable for operation in the European Economic Area.

What happens to non-compliant electric motors after the cutoff date?

If the electric motors were first placed on the market in the European Economic Area before the cutoff date, e.g., imported, they can continue to be sold or commissioned after the cutoff date.

How do affected electric motors need to be labeled?

The CE declaration and CE logo confirm compliance with standards and laws in force in the EU, including compliance with the Ecodesign Directive. Furthermore, the Ecodesign Directive requires, inter alia, the following information to be included on the electric motor:

  • Efficiency at full load
  • Efficiency class
  • Production year

Are the electric motors I use covered by the Ecodesign Directive?

Which electric motors are specifically affected?

Induction motors without carbon brushes, commutators, slip rings, or electric rotor connections designed for operation at a sinusoidal voltage that also 

  • have two, four, six, or eight poles; 
  • have a rated frequency of 50 Hz, 60 Hz, 
  • or 50/60 Hz; have a rated voltage of more than 50 V and up to 1,000 V; 
  • have a nominal output power ranging from 0.12 kW up to and including 1,000 kW; 
  • are designed for continuous operation; and
  • are intended for operation on the public power grid.

What exceptions does the Ecodesign Directive allow?

Electric motors not in continuous operation are excluded from the Directive. This applies to the operating modes S3 and S6 with less than 80% operating time. Further exceptions are also defined:

  • Electric motors fully integrated into a product – for example, a pump or a fan. The electric motor must share common components with the powered device and must not be operational if they are separated.
  • Electric motors with integrated speed control – known as compact drives – whose energy efficiency cannot be tested independently of speed control.
  • Further specific exceptions that apply regardless of manufacturer, such as operation under certain ambient conditions above 60 °C, can be found here These have been described and published in conjunction with the German electrical and electronics manufacturers association.

How are spare parts affected by the Ecodesign Directive?

Until July 1, 2029, non-compliant electric motors may be used as a replacement for motors that were integrated into a machine and placed on the market by July 1, 2022. The intended purpose must be clearly identified.

What does the Ecodesign Directive mean for servomotors?

Servomotors are not affected by the Ecodesign Directive. They are usually designed in such a way that they can only be operated on an inverter and not on the power grid.

How do affected electric motors need to be labeled?

The CE declaration and CE logo confirm compliance with standards and laws in force in the EU, including compliance with the Ecodesign Directive. Furthermore, the Ecodesign Directive requires, inter alia, the following information to be included on the electric motor:

  • Efficiency at full load
  • Efficiency class
  • Production year

What is the main change compared to the previous scope of the Ecodesign Directive?

Although the new Ecodesign Directive excludes spare parts for the time being, the following main exceptions will cease to apply when it comes into force on July 1, 2021:

  • Electric motors with brakes will be included in the scope in the future.
  • Electric motors that are operated on an inverter will also be affected by the Ecodesign Directive in the future. This does not apply if the electric motor can only be operated on an inverter or if it does not run in continuous operation.
  • In the future, electric motors that do not run in continuous operation will only be exempt if they are designed for the operating modes S3 or S6 with less than 80% operating time.

Furthermore, for the first time, electric motors with a rated power below 0.75 kW are also affected by the Ecodesign Directive and must meet minimum efficiency levels according to IE2 .

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