MRO Magazine

Demand for electric motors to grow more than 5% annually in US

Cleveland, OH – The US market for electric motors is forecast to expand 5.4% per year through 2018 to $16.2 billion, accelerating from the 2008-2013 period (all figures in US dollars). Electric motors are key components in many durable goods and, as a result, suppliers will benefit from solid increases in motor vehicle, HVAC equipment and machinery output.

Rising demand for more efficient, more expensive motor products will also boost market value. However, pricing pressure from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), as well as competition from lower cost imports, will limit value gains. These and other trends are presented in Electric Motors, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Demand for AC motors will grow faster than that for DC motors and remain the larger product category, with 2018 sales of $9.6 billion. According to analyst Lee Steinbock, “Motor vehicles are expected to make up approximately one-third of AC motor dollar gains, the result of a rise in hybrid and electric vehicle (HEV) production.” HEVs use integral horsepower (IHP) AC synchronous motors for motive power and, as a result, these motors will register by far the fastest gains of any major type. Increased production of HVAC equipment and machinery, which are heavy users of AC motors, will provide additional support moving forward.

Demand for DC motors will approach $6.7 billion in 2018. DC motors are used extensively in transportation applications, and suppliers will benefit from increases in motor vehicle output and aerospace and other nonautomotive transportation equipment production. Universal motors, which can run on AC or DC power and are grouped with DC motors for the purpose of this study, are widely used in HVAC equipment and machinery, and higher output of these products will boost overall electric motor use.


Motor vehicles are expected to post the most rapid gains and remain the largest domestic market for electric motors through 2018. In addition to an increase in total motor vehicle output, as well as a significant rise in HEV production, gains will be spurred by the growing number of electric motor-dependent systems in the average vehicle.

The HVAC and machinery markets will also provide significant sales opportunities for electric motor suppliers as output from these industries climbs. HVAC electric motor demand will be spurred by greater construction spending, which will lead to the installation of entirely new systems, while machinery motor sales will be supported in part by replacement demand driven by government efficiency regulations.

Electric Motors (published 12/2014, 265 pages) is available for US$5,200 from The Freedonia Group Inc. at