Innovative Electric Boat Manufacturer Forza X1 to invest $10.5 million in Marion
Jul 28, 2022
Forza X1, Inc., the builder of an innovative line of electric-powered boats, will invest $10.5 million to establish a new manufacturing plant in McDowell County, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will create 170 jobs in Marion.
“The strong momentum for our emphasis on the clean energy economy is putting money in the pockets of every day North Carolinians in both urban and rural areas like McDowell County,” said Governor Cooper. “While the number of electric cars is rapidly expanding, so will electric boats made by Forza X1 right here in our state.”
Forza X1 and its parent company Twin Vee PowerCats Co. are independent marine manufacturers headquartered in Fort Pierce, Florida. Forza X1 is developing an innovative line of recreational boats that will be environmentally friendly and powered by a proprietary electric outboard motor designed and integrated with the company’s own control system. The company plans to offer a combined boat and motor package, featuring lithium battery packs, that will provide families and water recreation enthusiasts an enjoyable time for an affordable price, while preserving ecological balance for the planet.
“Forza X1 is thrilled and honored to relocate our cutting-edge manufacturing and product development operation to McDowell County. Our marine electrification mission is significant and timely and will thrive in North Carolina’s outstanding business climate,” said Joseph Visconti, CEO of Forza X1. “The people of McDowell County and the state have been very supportive and wonderful to work with. We are looking forward to breaking ground on our state of the art manufacturing facility and hiring some outstanding local talent.”
Although wages for the new jobs will vary depending on position, the average salary will be $51,047, above the current average wage in McDowell County of $39,071. The state and local area will see an additional impact of more than $8 million each year from the new payroll.
“Innovative companies like Forza X1 expect to see innovation from the business locations they select,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “I’m pleased that the innovative workforce strategies in our First in Talent strategic plan are getting results and keeping the state ahead of our competitors.”
Forza X1’s project in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the course of 12 years, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $479.1 million. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $1,367,100, spread over 12 years. Payments for all JDIGs only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.
Because Forza X1 chose a site in McDowell County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 2, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving $151,900 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities across the state finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business.
“Forza X1, Inc. is bringing an especially unique and timely product to the market,” said N.C. Senator Ralph Hise. “Congratulations to this impressive and innovative company for expanding economic opportunity and jobs, in choosing to locate their new boat manufacturing facility in McDowell County and Marion.”
“Marion and McDowell County welcomes Forza X1 to our community. We are excited about their investment and commitment to new jobs and investment for our community.”, said N.C. Representative Dudley Greene. “I think the strong workforce and sense of community cooperation we offer here will work together to make sure Forza X1 enjoys much success in North Carolina.”
In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C., other key partners on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, the GoldenLEAF Foundation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, Duke Energy, Dominion Energy, McDowell County, the City of Marion and the McDowell Economic Development Association.