How do I Reduce the Total Cost of Ownership of a Motor?

The total cost of ownership of a motor doesn’t just indicate the cost of buying the motor from new or indeed the cost of a second-hand motor, but also incorporates all the costs over its entire lifetime (we’ll outline these shortly).

The total cost of a motor will vary based on many factors such as size, application, and IE rating, however for a typical motor the purchase price is 1-3% of its total cost.


How do I Calculate the Total Cost of Ownership?

Unfortunately, there is no universal calculation applicable to all motors, however the following should be factored in:

  • Initial Purchase Price
  • Installation Costs
  • Any operator training.
  • Running costs (based on energy consumption and running hours)
  • Maintenance costs over its lifetime
  • Repairs
  • Downtime
  • Remaining value

The Energy costs are always the biggest factor to consider when calculating the Total Cost of Ownership.  According to research from the World Energy Council, if all electric motors and electric motor-driven systems were able to drop their energy consumption by 10%, this would reduce the global demand for electricity generation by 1,425TWh, this is equivalent to the total amount of electricity used by India, who are the world’s third largest consumer!


How do I Reduce Total Cost of Ownership?

Whilst each application of motors is different there are some means of reducing the Total Cost of Ownership.

  • Variable Speed Drives

In most motor-driven systems the motor will be overpowered for its task, this means energy is wasted whilst putting more pressure on the motor, which in turn will reduce its lifespan.

VSD moderates the energy the motor uses, without impacting production, it also means the motor is ramped up slower, reducing the energy requirements on start-up.  VSDs can save huge amounts of energy and can see a significant reduction in the total cost of motor ownership.  You can view the range of VSDs we offer here or if you cannot afford the initial outlay of a VSD, we have the option to hire VSDs.  We also offer an energy survey which can be found here.  If you’d like to read more about energy saving, request one of our FREE Guides available on our website.

  • Improved Efficiency Motors

Most motors carry an IE or International Efficiency rating.  Five classes cover 2,4,6 or 8 pole motors with rated outputs from 0.12kW to 1000kW and rated voltages from 50V to 1000V.

IE1 is Standard Efficiency, IE2 is High Efficiency, IE3 is Premium Efficiency and IE4 is super-premium efficiency.  Some manufacturers produce motors which meet the IE5 class which is Ultra-premium efficiency.

Globally legislation is in place to govern the efficiency of motors, but this does not cover motors already in service.  Energy losses are reduced by 20% or more between each class.  Replacement of older motors offer huge savings over the lifetime of a motor.

  • Other considerations

Although Energy consumed by motors represent the largest savings to be made in the lifetime of a motor other considerations should be considered.

The most significant factors outside energy consumption are maintenance of the motor.  Costs due to downtime can quickly add up, causing a substantial loss of production and money.  Proper installation, training for staff, setup and preventative maintenance are essential to keep a motor healthy and reduce the chances of breakdowns.  Bearings account for 50% of motor failures, if you’d like to read more about how you can minimise breakdowns here.

If you’d like any more information about Motors, or you’re thinking about replacing your current motor contact us today at [email protected] where we will be happy to assist you.

Similar FAQs


What can I do to Minimise Motor Failure?

51% of Motor Failures are bearing related A Huge 51% of Motor Failures are bearing related, with the top three

Read article
Energy Efficiency

Can I Save Energy with Variable Speed Drive?

With energy costs soaring many of our customers are asking, ‘Can I save energy with Variable Speed Drives?’ The Short

Read article