EU MEPS (European Minimum Energy Performance Standard) was introduced by EU Commission Regulation EC 640/2009. This Regulation changed the European motor market in 2011 by making IE2 the mandatory minimum efficiency class for new motors placed on the market. It was updated in 2014 by Commission Regulation EU 4/2014, which eliminated a number of loopholes in the original Regulation. These Regulations together set the minimum efficiency levels for electric motors introduced into the European market. On 1st January 2015 Europe took the next step forwards when IE3 became compulsory for single speed three-phase induction motors in the range of 7.5 to 375 kW that are connected direct online (DOL). IE2 motors over 7.5KW can still be placed on the market but they need to be used with a VSD (variable speed drive).

Standard efficiency classes for low voltage AC motors

Standard IEC/EN 60034-30-1 on efficiency classes of line operated AC motors was published by the International electro technical Commission (IEC) on March 6, 2014.This IEC standard is concerned with the global harmonization of energy efficiency classes for electric motors. Compared with IEC/EN 60034-30: 2008, it significantly expands the range of products covered with the inclusion of 8-pole motors and introduces IE4.

Efficiency performance class for electric motors. All technical constructions of motors are covered as long as they are rated for direct on-line operation. Whereas the previous edition covered only three-phase products, the new standard also includes single-phase motors, as well as line-start permanent magnet motors.

What are the efficiency classes defined by IEC/EN 60034-30-1: 2014?

The standard defines four IE (International Efficiency) efficiency classes for single speed electric motors that are rated according to IEC 60034-1 or IEC 60079-0 (explosive atmospheres) and designed for operation on sinusoidal voltage.

What motors are covered by the standard?

The new standard covers a wider scope of products. The power range has been expanded to cover motors from 120 W to 1000 kW. All technical constructions of electric motors are covered as long as they are rated for direct on-line operation. The coverage of the new standard includes:

  • Single speed electric motors (single and three phase), 50 and 60 Hz
  • 2, 4, 6 or 8 poles
  • Rated output PN from 0.12 kW to 1000 kW
  • Rated voltage UN above 50 V up to 1 kV
  • Motors, capable of continuous operation at their rated power with a temperature rise within the specified insulation temperature class
  • Motors, marked with any ambient temperature within the range of -20 °C to +60 °C
  • Motors, marked with an altitude up to 4000 m above sea level.

What Motors are excluded from IEC/EN 60034-30-1?

  • Single-speed motors with 10 or more poles or multi-speed motors
  • Motors completely integrated into a machine (for example, pump, fan or compressor) that cannot be tested separately from the machine
  • Brake motors, when the brake cannot be dismantled or separately fed.


Markings and documentation

The original Regulation required manufacturers to mark rating plates with the nominal efficiency at 100%, 75% and 50% of rated load. This was slightly relaxed by EU 4/2014, which allows marking of nominal efficiency at only 100% rated load in the case of small motors due to the limited size of their rating plates.

All motors must additionally show their IE class (IE2, IE3 or IE4) and year of manufacture on the rating plate. Manufacturers are also required to provide certain other technical documentation on their free-access websites.