Sunderland firm Hyperdrive Innovation is one of two North-East companies bought by giant eco-energy company Turntide Technologies in a move which will see £100m invested in the region in the next few years.
The California-based buyer is backed by star investors including tycoons Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos and Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr and committed to finding ways of reducing carbon emissions as part of the battle against climate change.
The move acknowledges the North East’s leading position in electrical energy technology and the investment is being tipped to have planet-saving consequences in the battle against climate change.
Hyperdrive Innovation, which neighbours the Nissan car plant in Washington, and BorgWarner in Gateshead have both been bought with a view to putting them at the heart of the impending electrical vehicle revolution.
And where the new company will score is in finding ways to reduce climate-damaging emissions by utilising and scaling cutting-edge technology under the newly-created Turntide Transport company.
Ryan Morris, Turntide’s chairman and CEO, said: “North East England has a strong track-record of industrial and automotive innovation, which we are keen to be part of with the formation of Turntide Transport.
“By assembling a robust, technology-led supply chain here in the North East to expand the application of our technologies into multiple transport sectors we will be able to help drive the electric revolution while supporting the creation of high quality, sustainable jobs.
“We recognise the emphasis that is being placed on attracting inward investment into the region to help level up the UK economy and we are delighted to be playing our part.”
Turntide’s technology has dramatically improved the efficiency of building control, electric vehicles, and industrial processes – boosting bottom lines and smoothing the global path to 100 per cent renewable energy.
Until now, Turntide has achieved this within the built environment – primarily retrofitting the electric motors in HVAC and agriculture with intelligent, optimal efficiency systems.
With this move into transport, Turntide is integrating the two North East companies to create 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.
Turntide’s investors include Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the Amazon Climate Pledge Fund and FootPrint Coalition Ventures, which was created by Robert Downey Jr to support businesses tackling major environmental challenges.
The new company’s transport division based in the North East will be led by Matt Boyle – one of the UK’s leading experts in electric vehicles.
The company will aim to improve the efficiency of vehicles in the freight, rail, marine and aerospace sectors so that they can reduce their CO2 emissions.
Mr Boyle said: “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 companies with the Smart Motor System will allow Turntide to simplify the path to sustainable transport.”
The purchase of Hyperdrive Innovation, one of the UK’s leading independent battery pack manufacturers, will see Turntide include energy storage in its solutions.
Hyperdrive, recently won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise and is among the UK’s fastest-growing companies.
It designs, develops and manufactures battery systems for a wide range of applications.
BorgWarner Gateshead Technical Centre, a company that has been designing power electronics for a wide range of vehicles for more than 50 years, is also part of the investment.
Turntide believes that by tapping into world-leading expertise in the North East, it can play a major role in delivering a greener future to the world.
It is expected to speed the development of existing technologies and capabilities in reducing energy use and cost for commercial transport.
At the same time, it will bring jobs and investment to the North East and throw a spotlight on a sector in which the region can strengthen its position as a world leader on electrification.
The announcement has attracted national and international interest with the Government’s business and energy secretary Rt. Hon. Kwasi Kwarteng MP saying: “Cutting carbon emissions in transport is key to tackling climate change and I welcome this game-changing investment by Turntide.
“It will drive forward the technologies we need to clean up the cars and vans on our roads, boats on our seas and planes in the sky.
“This is also a huge boost for workers in the North-East and further evidence of how our climate change commitments are opening opportunities for economic growth, private investment, and job creation across the UK as we level up and build back greener from the pandemic.”
Turntide’s Ryan Morris added: “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.
“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.”