Written by Kfir Kedem - September 30, 2020
Edited by Asaf Kedem
Up until now the discussion regarding electrification has been a debate of hydrogen or batteries. During this debate, people have been focused on the source of energy and seemed to forget about the actual propulsion device used. In fact, the electric motor has not substantially evolved since the 19th century. With 47% of the world’s energy being consumed by electric motors, it’s time for a change.
Turntide Technologies are based in Silicon Valley and have been able to develop a revolutionary electric motor design. What they did was evolve the design of the Switch Reluctance Motor. Although the motor itself is not a new technology, it has always been known for being durable and reliable. As such, it was used for decade-long systems such as nuclear power plants. The only problem with using it for automotive or even daily appliances is that it is almost impossible to control the current. Or at least it was.
Turntide have created a machine learning based controller that is able to directly manipulate and control the current to behave in a stable way. This allows the motor to be mechanically stable, more agile, and far more efficient than its competing motor types.
The motor is able switch current on and off at 20,000 times per second and does not use any rare earth metals. Turntide received investments of over $100 million from BMW and Amazon, which may be a hint at their technology being used in cars and potential future BMW models. They are however not planning to stop at automotive but have plans to use their motors in electric appliances and eventually replace all of the electric motors in the world with their own. According to them, making this switch will result in the equivalent of planting seven new Amazon rainforests.
Auto Trendy’s take:
The conversation has suddenly changed from what form of energy storage will take over to how can the use of the energy be more efficient. Turntide are making bold but fantastic statements that are extremely exciting. With the backing from BMW we are really excited to see how soon the application and use of these motors can be transferred over to the automotive industry and how they will function in daily cars.