22 Jul 2024


Turntide buys third Tyneside firm to add to transport division

Turntide Transport MD Matt Boyle: offering a simple, smooth path to sustainable transport

The Californian electric motor developer and manufacturer Turntide Technologies has bought a third business in the North East of England – Cramlington-based Avid Technology, which designs and manufactures powertrain components and systems for heavy-duty and high-performance electric and hybrid vehicles. The deal comes just one month after Turntide bought Hyperdrive Innovation and the engineering technical centre of BorgWarner Gateshead to form the basis for a new UK division focusing on intelligent motor systems for the commercial transport industry.

The new division will offer one-stop powertrain, intelligence, efficiency, and control technologies to help industrial and commercial vehicles achieve net-zero targets.

“While automakers are making strides to reduce carbon with electric passenger cars, the most difficult sectors to decarbonise – such as commercial and industrial vehicles in rail, marine and aerospace – are far behind,” says Turntide’s chairman and CEO, Ryan Morris. “The Avid acquisition completes our end-to-end offering for the electrification of commercial and industrial vehicles and puts us on a path to eliminate the need for rare-earth magnets in EVs as we develop our motor technology for the transport market.”

Avid designs power electronics and motors for equipment such as pumps, fans and propulsion systems used in electric and hybrid vehicles including construction machines, buses, trucks, off-highway machines and propulsion robotics. By combining its Smart Motor System with the acquired technology, Turntide is extending its motor-based technology stack to include inverters, electronics, vehicle controls and battery management systems.

In one of its projects, Avid is working with Warwick University and the Welding Institute to develop a next-generation axial-flux motor, and a manufacturing process for producing lighter, more efficient EV powertrains. The project will embed motor simulation and design with a new manufacturing process capable of producing up to 100,000 motors a year on a line planned for Avid’s Cramlington site.

“This deal is part of Turntide’s multi-year investment in the North East region of England, known for its decades of innovation in the electrification industry,” says Matt Boyle, managing director of the new Turntide Transport division. “Combining Avid’s technology with the Smart Motor System will allow Turntide to simplify and smooth a path to sustainable transport.”

Turntide has also completed a $225m funding round, taking its total funding to date to $400m. Investors in the company include Bill Gate’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Robert Downey Jr’s FootPrint Coalition Ventures, and the Amazon Climate Pledge Fund.

Turntide’s patented Smart Motor System, based on a patented high-rotor-pole switched reluctance design, can cut energy consumption by almost two thirds in some applications, and eliminates the need for environmentally damaging rare-earth minerals that most high-efficiency permanent magnet motors require. The company’s customers include Amazon, BMW and Five Guys.

Turntide Transport’s customers include Aston Martin, Hitachi Rail, JCB and Volkswagen’s MAN division.

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