This week, U.S. startup Turntide Technologies, whose trademarked Smart Motor System will provide battery power for EV cars without the use of rare earth metals like neodynium and lanthanum, announced the latest in a string of key acquisitions. The firm is buying U.K. company AVID, which designs and manufactures electrified powertrain components and systems for heavy-duty and high-performance electric (EV) and hybrid vehicles (HEV).
The acquisition is the latest step in a strategic U.K. rollout for Turntide, which last month launched a new division in Gateshead, England, Turntide Transport. Turntide Transport will focus on modernizing intelligent motor systems for commercial transportation, built around two separate U.K. acquisitions, Hyperdrive Innovation and BorgWarner’s Gateshead engineering tech center.
Turnside’s acquisition of Hyperdrive, one of the U.K.’s leading independent battery pack manufacturers and a designer-manufacturer of modular high performance lithium-ion battery systems for multiple applications, gave it the ability to include energy storage in its solution.
The Gateshead engineering business previously owned by BorgWarner has been designing power electronics for a wide range of vehicles for more than five decades, mainly motor controllers and other devices that determine the motion of industrial electric applications.
Eliminating the need for rare-earth metals
In a statement connected with the latest acquisition, Turntide declared that it “now offers full electrification capabilities that deliver one-stop powertrain, intelligence, efficiency, and control to the most critical industrial and commercial vehicles to help meet global net-zero goals.”
“While automakers are making strides to reduce carbon with electric passenger cars, the most difficult sectors to decarbonize, such as commercial and industrial vehicles in rail, marine and aerospace, are far behind,” Turntide Chairman and CEO Ryan Morris said in a statement. “The AVID acquisition completes our end-to-end offering for the electrification of commercial and industrial vehicles. This puts us on a path to eliminate the need for rare earth magnets in EVs as we further develop our motor technology for the transport market.”
AVID designs power electronics and motors used in electric and hybrid vehicle powertrain systems – such as pumps, fans, and propulsion – for vehicles such as construction machinery, heavy-duty buses, trucks, off-highway machinery, and propulsion robotics. By combining the Smart Motor System with acquired electric vehicle technology, Turntide has deepened its technology stack around the motor that includes the inverter, electronics, vehicle control unit, and battery management system.
“This deal is part of Turntide’s multi-year investment in the North East of England known for its decades of innovation in the electrification industry,” said Matt Boyle, OBE, Managing Director of Turntide Transport. “Combining AVID’s technology with the Smart Motor System will allow Turntide to simplify and smooth a path to sustainable transport.”
Concurrent with the acquisition news, Turntide also announced that it has closed $225 million in convertible note financing from investors including the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP), Monashee Capital, JLL Spark, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Captain Planet LP, and Suvretta Capital Management.
Turntide will use the financing to support the development of a new cloud-based technology due to be released this year for implementation throughout built environments and electric vehicles. The technology will integrate the Smart Motor System with intelligent automation and insights that the company says will dramatically improve customer experience, employee satisfaction and reduce maintenance costs across commercial and industrial markets.
“For decades, the industry considered switched reluctance motors to eliminate the need for rare earth magnets, and this capital enables Turntide to innovate and finally make this a reality,” Turntude’s Boyle said this week. “It requires a solid, long-term commitment to work with leading brands such as JCB, Hitachi Rail and Volkswagen’s MAN division to make lasting change and assist in achieving global net zero goals.”
The investment brings Turntide’s total funding to over $400 million.