Electric-motor watercrafts maker to open plant in West Virginia

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Pure Watercraft will manufacture electric-motor pontoon boats in West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice announced.

The Seattle-based company will invest at least $5 million in a former steel plant in the Northern Panhandle community of Beech Bottom and expects to create more than 100 full-time jobs by the end of 2025, the governor’s office said Wednesday.

The Pure Pontoon Boat is being developed in collaboration with General Motors Corp., Justice’s office said in a news release.

Company founder and CEO Andy Rebele said Pure Watercraft plans to start building and fulfilling orders at the plant in early 2023.

Electric boating has been embraced by celebrities such as Drake, Robert De Niro and Greta Thunberg, according to Montreal-based Vision Marine Technologies. Many tour operators have turned to electric boats, and so have cities for rental and water taxis.

Many waters have been designated marine protected areas — 26% in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — which ban motorized boats. Many allow electric boats because they are cleaner and emit no sound.

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