A SILICON Valley company's £100 million move into North-East has been described by business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng as a "game-changing investment" in the fight against climate change.

Turnside Technologies has acquired Hyperdrive Innovation in Sunderland and BorgWarner Gateshead to support electrification and reduce energy usage in the transport sector.

On the back of the acquisitions, the company, which is based in Sunnyvale in California, is launching Turntide Transport, a new division of the company focused on modernising intelligent motor systems throughout the commercial transportation industry.

Bosses said the move is the start of a multi-year £100 million investment in the region – but financial terms of the deals have not been disclosed.

Despite initiatives to drive down the burning of fossil fuels, the world’s global carbon footprint continues to expand and the transportation industry accounts for 24 per cent of CO2 emissions from direct fuel consumption.

And whilst electric cars are increasing, the carbon footprint of freight transportation which includes all shipping services by land (railways, trucks, and pipelines), sea (cargo vessels), and air (cargo planes) continues to grow.

Between 2010 and 2050, global CO2 emissions from freight transport are expected to increase fourfold.

By combining its Smart Motor System with acquired electric vehicle technology, Turntide is joining the effort to help solve our global transportation problem – improving efficiency and driving down energy use and waste.

The Turntide Transport division will initially target electromechanical systems in some of the more challenging markets to decarbonise – including commercial and industrial vehicles, rail, marine and aerospace.

Ryan Morris, Turntide’s chairman and CEO, said: “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 with our initial reference customers.”

Turntide’s Platform for Sustainable Operations brings together the Smart Motor System with automation and cloud insights to improve the efficiency of building control, electric vehicles, and industrial processes - boosting bottom lines and smoothing the global path to 100 percent 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.

The acquisition of Hyperdrive Innovation, one of the UK’s leading independent battery pack manufacturer, will allow Turntide to include energy storage in its solutions. Hyperdrive designs, develops, and manufactures modular high-performance lithium-ion battery systems for a wide range of applications.

The acquisition of the Gateshead Business includes the facilities of the Gateshead Technical Centre, which under previous ownership of BorgWarner, has been designing power electronics for a wide range of vehicles for more than five decades - focusing on motor controllers and other devices that determine the motion of industrial electric applications.

By integrating technology from both entities, Turntide Transport will 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.

Matt Boyle, OBE, Managing Director of Turntide Transport, 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 businesses with the Smart Motor System will allow Turntide to simplify the path to sustainable transport. “These acquisitions bring together two world leading capabilities in Turntide and the UK businesses. Gateshead has become well-known worldwide as a growing center for digital business. We are excited to make Gateshead a centre for our innovation in sustainable transport, a move that reflects our confidence in the engineering capability and the region.”

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “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.”