Ecotality Files for Bankruptcy, Plans to Sell EV Charging Assets
Ecotality, the San Francisco-based electric vehicle charging company, has filed for bankruptcy and announced plans to auction off its assets just a month after warning investors of its financial troubles.
The company, which won a $99.8 million grant from the US Department of Energy four years ago, and five affiliates filed for Chapter 11 protection with the US bankruptcy court in Phoenix, Reuters reports.
Ecotality operates three lines of business: Blink EV charging stations for consumers and businesses, Minit Chargers for industrial applications, and ETEC Labs, its research, testing and consulting division.
Ecotality developed software called The Blink Network that allows EV chargers to integrate with utilities and other third parties to help with data exchange, services, energy management, media communications, membership and payment programs.
Last month, Ecotality said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it had failed to increase sales and bring a new product to market and would not generate sufficient revenue to support its operations in the second half of 2014.
The announcement was just one in a series of blows for the company, which is managing The EV Project, a government-backed initiative to install EV chargers across the country. Ecotality has called the project the largest rollout of EV infrastructure in US history.
In August, Ecotality experienced a technical glitch that forced the company to cut the power level on 12,000 chargers at Blink Level 2 charging stations.
In response to its problems, the DOE suspended payments to the company for its EV Project. Ecotality originally received approval for $99.8 million in 2009 for the project and won an additional $15 million in 2010.
Investors in Ecotality filed a lawsuit against the company earlier this month. A law firm representing the investors is investigating potential claims on behalf of buyers of Ecotality’s securities, based on possible violations of federal securities laws between April and August 2013. The claims include allegations that Ecotality failed to meet loan obligations for the DOE’s EV Project, and did not meet a commitment to deliver new Minit Chargers.
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