Bill Gates, Robert Downey Jr Funding Electric Motor Startup

(Noted News) — A powerhouse of high-profile money is pouring into electric motor company Turntide Technologies, which aims to create the world’s best electric engine. 

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Hollywood icon Robert Downey Jr., iPod inventor Tony Fadell, and the Amazon Climate Pledge Fund have invested in the San Francisco-based startup attempting to combat climate change with super-efficient electric motors.

According to Turntide, the maintenance of office and commercial buildings is responsible for 40% of global CO2 emissions, forming the basis of their business model. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), a third of all energy produced in these buildings ends up being wasted. 

Turntide intends to be the cherry on top of smart building technology that controls lighting, air conditioning, and other essential utilities that add a layer of efficiency to operating large buildings.

The company, fronted by chairman Ryan Morris, uses technology that releases a calculated series of short bursts of energy rather than a constant stream where portions of it go to waste. Morris said this technology took 11 years to develop.

“In a conventional motor you are continuously driving current into the motor whatever speed you want to run it at. We’re pulsing in precise amounts of current just at the times when you need the torque… It’s software-defined hardware.” 

The tech-startup describes its mission as “replacing all of the motors in the world.” They will be starting with buildings as those provide a simpler starting point. But Turntide’s motors are already 95% compatible with the requirements of electric cars, which means supplying electric vehicle manufactures is definitely in the cards.

“Our technology has huge advantages for the electric vehicle industry. There’s no rare earth minerals. Every EV uses rare earth minerals to get better performance of their electric motors. They’re expensive, destructive to mine and China controls 95% of the global supply chain for them. We do not use any exotic materials, rare earth minerals, or magnets… We’re replacing that with very advanced software and computation. It’s the first time Moore’s law applies to the motor.”

“Two years from now we will definitely be in electric vehicles,” Morris said. 

Turntide has raked in roughly $180 million in financing from a coalition of venture capital titans, including Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Robert Downey Jr.’s Footprint Coalition, the Amazon Climate Fund, BMW’s iVentures, and more.

According to Morris, the company’s beta testing has resulted in a 64% reduction in energy consumption for buildings.

“The carbon impact of what we’re doing is pretty massive…The average energy reduction [in buildings] has been a 64% reduction. If we can replace all the motors in buildings in the U.S. that’s the carbon equivalent of adding over 300 million tons of carbon sequestration per year.”

Carmichael Roberts of Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures believes that the new technology will not only end up being more efficient, but cheaper for energy consumers.

“Turntide’s Smart Motor System addresses a huge market with innovation that not only is higher efficiency, but also lower cost. The applications for this type of solution are incredibly broad and impactful.”

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