RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) – North Carolina, rapidly becoming the epicenter for electric vehicle support facilities, is about to add an international company’s U.S. headquarters to that mix.
With two manufacturers already having announced that they would expand their efforts to build charging stations for electric vehicles in North Carolina, alpitronic Americas LLC, an Italian manufacturer of high-powered chargers, is planning to open its headquarters in Charlotte.
The Economic Investment Committee of the NC Department of Commerce approved in its call Tuesday incentives totaling more than $2.9 million to beat out Greenville, South Carolina, and Phoenix for the headquarters.
Alpitronic will bring 300 highly paid jobs to Mecklenburg County by 2027, and the company is investing more than $18.3 million by 2025 to purchase real estate and construct a facility to house administration – including its senior U.S. leadership team, the EIC said – technology and a repair center.
Atom Power earlier this month announced expansion of its headquarters in Huntersville, and in February Kempower announced it would build a manufacturing facility in Durham. Together those two investments plan to add more than 500 jobs to the market.
They follow Toyota’s construction of a manufacturing facility for electric vehicle batteries at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, announced in December 2021, VinFast’s plan to build electric SUVs in Chatham County and an expansion of the microchip manufacturer Wolfspeed in Chatham County.
“We’re grateful that alpitronic has decided to make their U.S. home right here in North Carolina,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a release following the EIC vote. “Our state is developing a burgeoning e-mobility supply chain with the support of yet another clean energy company. Our favorable business climate, reliable transportation network, and skilled talent help global companies fuel their growth.”
Alpitronic, which is based in Bolzano, Italy, calls itself Europe’s leader in high-powered chargers for electric vehicles, the EIC was told, with more than 10,000 installed.
The 300 employees it plans to add between 2024 and 2027 will be paid an average minimum salary of $90,158, which is about 12.5% higher than Mecklenburg County’s average of $80,349, the committee said.
Because the company is new in the U.S., it will have to produce and file a corporate ethics policy before the first payment of its Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) can be made. Charlotte and Mecklenburg County have kicked in another $272,000.
South Carolina offered more incentives (between $8 million and $10 million), and Arizona offered between $2 million and $3.5 million, the EIC said.
But the EIC said alpitronic chose Charlotte because it had a hub airport with daily flights to Europe, a strong talent and labor pool, a history of public-private-academic partnerships, desirable available real estate and a state history of working in renewable energy, among other things.
“We’re excited to start our operations for the U.S. in Charlotte shortly,” alpitronic CEO Philipp Senoner said in the release. “Our decision to come to North Carolina, a state which is developing towards an e-mobility cluster, was consciously made based on the economic conditions. Within the next years, we expect strong growth of our business based on our reliable high-performance charging solution, which is contributing to the transition towards e-mobility for passenger vehicles and trucks.”
The NC Department of Commerce in its Walden formula calculates that the company by 2035 will add $832 million to the state’s gross domestic product and increase revenue by $19.6 million.
North Carolina is going to need charging stations, too. Under the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, North Carolina was scheduled to receive $16 million in 2022 and another $109 million from the $5 billion that is being invested nationally in the next five years to establish charging stations along interstate highways.