Electric sports car company considers Valley for manufacturing plant
A company that makes a performance sports car that would range in price between $120,000 and $170,000 is looking at the Valley to possibly locate a manufacturing plant.
CEO and President of Velfera Design, Antonio Pierce met with potential investors in Cleveland on Thursday, and also visited the Valley to discuss expanding his Texas based company.
Pierce says that his electric car relies on advanced technology, including a battery that would allow it to travel 300 miles before recharging, and accelerate from zero to sixty miles per hour in less than four seconds.
"We are offering something that up to this point has never been achievable with an electric vehicle. The vehicles offer superior performance to a gas powered car." said Pierce. "It has amazing efficiency. You have a car that can out accelerate some of the best sports cars on the market yet still offer the equivalent to 100 miles to gallon fuel economy."
Pierce says that the Velfera design utilizes the same 3-D printing and aircraft technology used in formula one racing cars. "We are bringing new innovative technologies to the area that haven't been applied on a large scale to the automotive sector. Our chassis designs are really drawn from aircraft technology. The batteries and other technologies we are working with allow us to break the bottlenecks that have been holding back the electric vehicle sales." said Pierce.
"By reducing the weight of our vehicle we are able to get the maximum efficiency." said Pierce.
Pierce says his largest market is in Europe, but is looking for growth in the U.S. and emerging markets.
Velfera is also looking in other parts of the country for possible locations. They're seeking tax breaks and other incentives to lure the company and an initial 75 full time jobs.
The Executive Director of the Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corporation, Mike Conway, said "This project has job creation, cutting edge technology, a manufacturing entity that is exporting products, and supplies the automotive purchasing public. We will be working with the Youngstown/Warren Chamber of Commerce, the Western Reserve Port Authority, other economic development agencies and the state."
The Chairman of the Western Reserve Port Authority, Ron Klingle, said "Mr. Pierce has what seems like a perfect combination of three or four state-of-the-art concepts and technologies, that put together in the form of an automobile is incredible, and probably not seen anywhere else in the world. We can provide incentives such as land, the ability to acquire land, we can offer tax abatements, financing, just about anything a company needs to locate here and create jobs. This is a fantastic product and we will do everything we can to entice Mr. Pierce to chose our area to locate." said Klingle.