MARION – The recreational boat manufacturer Forza X1 will construct a new facility in Marion, North Carolina, investing more than $10.5 million in the site that could employ as many as 170 workers if job creation targets are met.

That’s following a deal that the company made with the state’s Economic Investment Committee on Thursday morning.

“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 North Carolina Governor Cooper in a statement released following a public appearance in Marion on Thursday.  “While the number of electric cars is rapidly expanding, so will electric boats made by Forza X1 right here in our state.”

Under the terms of the deal, Forza X1, Inc. will add 170 workers that will earn at least an average of $45,942 annually, between 2024 and the end of 2027.  Average wages in McDowell County in 2021 were $39,071, according to a project summary document obtained by WRAL TechWire.

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Who is Forza X1?

Forza X1 manufacturers electric boats, and this is the latest in a string of economic development announcements that pertain to electric vehicles across category types in recent months, including announcements from Toyota, VinFast, and Boom Supersonic.

The corporation is a subsidiary of Twin Vee PowerCats Co., who will be the guarantor under the Job Development Investment Grant between the state and the company.

Twin Vee is an independent marine manufacturer of gas-powered multihull boats based in Fort Pierce, Florida, according to the document obtained by WRAL TechWire.  The Forza X1 subsidiary has completed the design for two electric boat models “and has begun tooling the molds which are required to build the fiberglass boat,” the document reads.

In addition, the company has already entered into a supply agreement for the lithium battery packs that it plans to use to power the electric motor on both model of boat, and the design and prototyping process for that motor has been completed and is under testing, the document notes.

“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, in a statement on Thursday.  “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.”

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Incentives and impact

The deal struck between North Carolina and the company includes an incentives package totaling more than $1.6 million, over 12 years.

Under the terms of the agreement, the grant period will not begin until 2025.  The company was also considering expanding in Florida, near their existing facility, and was offered economic incentives by the state of Florida to do so, according to the document obtained by WRAL TechWire.

A spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Commerce told WRAL TechWire that an economic model used by the state to assess estimates for the impact of economic development projects showed that the facility could add approximately $479 million over a 12-year period to the state’s gross domestic product and add approximately $12.2 million over a 12-year period to the state’s net revenues.