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Europe`s motor buyers adopt Eff2 but spurn Eff1

01 September, 2002

Sales of medium-efficiency Eff2 motors in Europe have taken off quicker than expected, but the highest efficiency Eff1 machines have failed to make much of an impact so far, according to new figures released by Cemep, the body representing Europe`s motor-makers.

The statistics show that there has been a big shift in sales from the poorest efficiency Eff3 motors to Eff2 machines, which now account for around 80% of sales of motors covered by the 1999 voluntary agreement between Cemep and the European Commission.

The agreement set a target of halving the sales of two- and four-pole Eff3 machines in the range 1.1-90kW by 2003. This target has been hit well ahead of schedule, with sales of four-pole Eff2-equivalent motors climbing from 29.5% of the European market in 1998, to 80.5% by 2001. At the same time, sales of four-pole Eff3 motors fell from 68.42% to 16.1%.

Over the same period, sales of two-pole Eff2 motors climbed from 51.43% to 78.11%, while sales of two-pole Eff3 machines fell from 43.55% to 15.89%.

But sales of Eff1 motors have not benefited much from this shift to higher efficiency. Four-pole Eff1 motors last year accounted for just 3.4% of the European market, compared to 2.08% four years earlier, while the market share of two-pole Eff1 machines grew from 5% to 6% over the same period.

By contrast, in the US, a new "Premium efficiency" class of motor, with an even higher efficiency than Eff1, has already captured more than 10% of the motor market one year after its launch.

The main reason for poor sales of the Eff1 machines in Europe is thought to be price. Paolo Bertoldi, the EC official responsible for the high-efficiency motors initiative, points out that while Eff2 motors are typically 2-3% more expensive than Eff3 machines, Eff1 motors cost around 15% more than Eff2 machines.

Revealing the Cemep sales figures at a conference in Italy recently, Jean Candel of Leroy Somer said that voluntary agreement had been "a triple success", producing a classification system that is now recognised even outside Europe, attracting the support of 39 motor manufacturers, and shifting sales to higher-efficiency machines.

The voluntary agreement runs out at the end of 2003 and Cemep wants to renew the agreement, setting a new Eff3 target of less than 10% of the market.

Although Cemep originally insisted that the agreement with the EC be voluntary, some of its members are now calling on the Commission to introduce mandatory minimum efficiency levels to prevent sales of imported low-efficiency machines. "The voluntary agreement is not enough," Candel told the conference. He also called on European governments to provide "strong financial and fiscal incentives" to customers using Eff1 motors




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