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Electric Motors

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Electric motor-driven systems are by far the largest source of end-use electricity consumption, accounting for more than 40 percent of electricity consumption globally. These systems are responsible for more than 6,000 million tons (megatonnes) of CO2 emissions annually—equivalent to the yearly emissions of more than 1 billion cars.

Preliminary SEAD Initiative analysis found that increasing the efficiency of electric motors in SEAD economies could, by 2030, save up to 160 TWh of energy per year. These savings would avoid the need for more than 50 medium-sized power plants and reduce annual CO2 emissions by 80 megatonnes.

To date, more than 45 economies around the world have developed minimum efficiency standards or labeling programs for motors.

SEAD Global Efficiency Medal

The 2014 SEAD Global Efficiency Medal competition recognized super-efficient electric motors from around the world.


The SEAD Initiative conducts technical and policy research to support development of ambitious energy efficiency policies and programs for electric motors.