Efficient Motors Reduce Net Solar Costs by 30%, According to New Report


A new Access Efficiency Report finds that devices with permanent magnet (PM) motors use 22-42% less energy than devices with traditional AC motors. These energy savings can reduce the net cost of a household’s solar system by 30%.

Washington DC, March 1, 2021 –

A new report from Efficiency for Access provides the first comprehensive analysis of efficient motor applications in off-grid and weak power supplies. Devices with permanent magnet (PM) motors use 22-42% less energy than devices with traditional AC motors. These savings provide significant consumer benefits and market growth opportunities.

A household switching from traditional AC motor appliances to PM motor appliances saves 30% on the net cost of their solar array, even when a 20% price premium is factored in, the report says. Coupled with higher capacity PV modules, the energy savings from PM motor devices would allow a household to charge a two or three wheel vehicle and virtually eliminate its running costs.

In addition, PM motor devices have the potential to increase sales of solar systems and devices in off-grid and weak networks. By using PM motors, product suppliers can offer higher performing products with advanced features (e.g. quieter washing machines and fans, and improved low voltage operation so solar water pumps can perform better on cloudy days). After all, PM motor devices are more reliable than traditional devices, an important feature for devices designed for use in off-grid or rural environments. Together, these unique features can improve customer satisfaction on off-grid and weak networks and increase willingness to pay for devices with better performance.

Despite their potential, PM motors are not yet the dominant motor technology used in most devices. 57% of the device types assessed in South Asia and 71% of the device types assessed in sub-Saharan Africa have a market penetration rate of less than 50%. However, recent sales data shows that PM motors have the potential to gain increasing market share by 2025, with the largest projected growth being seen in solar water pumps, fridge / freezers, and 2- and 3-wheel vehicles.

In order to ensure the introduction of PM motor devices in off-grid and weak networks, additional steps can be taken to promote technological innovations and create incentives for their use. According to the report, efforts to standardize product design, leverage local manufacturing, provide incentives / subsidies, and raise awareness of the benefits of PM motor equipment can help drive additional demand and support long-term scaling of PM motor equipment .

Download the full report to learn more about the benefits of PM motors, current market barriers, and opportunities to catalyze growth.



The advantages of permanent magnet motors: Efficiency possibilities in markets outside and outside the grid were developed by pManifold in cooperation with CLASP and the Energy Saving Trust on behalf of Efficiency for Access.


Efficiency for Access is a global coalition advocating high-performance devices that enable the world’s poorest people to access clean energy. It is a catalyst for change that accelerates the growth of off-grid equipment markets to increase incomes, reduce carbon emissions, improve the quality of life and support sustainable development.

Efficiency for Access consists of 15 members of the Donor Roundtable, 10 program partners and more than 30 members of the Investor Network. Members of the Current Efficiency for Access Coalition have programs and initiatives in 44 countries and 22 key technologies. The Coalition Efficiency for Access is jointly coordinated by CLASP, an international specialist in energy efficiency and market development for non-profit devices, and the Energy Saving Trust, which specializes in the review, data and knowledge, advice and research of energy efficiency products.

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