On the heels of its acquisition of two UK-based businesses focused on electrification and engineering, FootPrint Coalition Ventures’ portfolio company, Turntide Technologies, is launching a new industrial transportation division, Turntide Transport.
Image Credit: Flickr/Tom Driggers
When FootPrint first invested in the company, the goal was to bring its digitally controlled engine technology to nearly every piece of motorized equipment.
That mission began with buildings, as the company, led by chief executive and chairman Ryan Morris, began commercializing technology that was developed initially at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Turntide’s basic innovation is a software-controlled motor, or switch reluctance motor, that uses precise pulses of energy instead of a constant flow of electricity.
The technology spent 11 years under development, in part because the computing power didn’t exist to make the system work, according to Morris.
TurnTide has already installed its new motors at some agriculture and industrial facilities, but with the acquisition of the UK-based businesses Hyperdrive Innovation Ltd. and the engineering technical center business of BorgWarner Gateshead Limited, its new subsidiary is ready to tackle an equally large market with a similar impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
The transportation industry accounts for 24 percent of global CO2 emissions from direct fuel consumption, the company said in a statement. As more cars with internal combustion engines are replaced by electric vehicles, the carbon footprint of freight transportation — which includes shipping services like railways, trucks, cargo vessels and cargo planes — is growing. Indeed, CO2 emissions are expected to increase fourfold between 2010 and 2050, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
By joining Turntide’s motor systems with electric vehicle technology, the company said it hopes to improve efficiency and drive down energy use in markets that have been tough to decarbonize, like commercial and industrial vehicles, trains, ships, and airplanes.
“Our world is at a tipping point. We desperately need to reduce our carbon emissions, but they continue to rise despite the accelerating electrification of passenger vehicles,” said Morris, in a statement. “Because Turntide has been successful in driving down energy use and waste in the built environment, it is critical that we translate this success into transportation to help combat the growing threat of climate change. We are excited to incorporate the experience and innovation that these two businesses have to offer as we launch into the transport market.”
By integrating technology from both acquired businesses, Turntide Transport is aiming to be a one-stop powertrain platform provider — including the battery pack, power electronics, motor, and connected intelligence — accelerating customers’ time to market in the inevitable electric future.
The company will already have customers including Aston Martin, Hitachi Rail, JCB and Volkswagen’s MAN division, for its new business unit.
“The electrification of transport is inevitable, but it isn’t coming quickly enough. With success in the built environment under our belt, incorporating the technology from these two businesses with the Smart Motor System will allow Turntide to simplify the path to sustainable transport,” said Matt Boyle, OBE, Managing Director of Turntide Transport.