Ecotality Considers Bankruptcy Filing

by | Aug 14, 2013

EcotalityEcotality may file for bankruptcy, the electric car charging station maker has warned investors.

The company has failed to increase sales and bring a new product to market, according to its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and says it will not generate sufficient revenue to support its operations in the second half of 2014. Ecotality says it’s exploring restructuring and selling the business, but it may need to file for bankruptcy.

Ecotality posted a message on its website earlier this week saying that the needs of drivers remain “paramount” and despite current challenges, the company will continue to operate its Blink network and maintain the Blink chargers “until further notice.”

The company 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 has not reported an annual profit since going public in 2005, Reuters reports. Its bankruptcy warning sent its shares down as much as 84 percent on Monday, according to the news agency.

Additionally, the Energy Department has suspended payments to the company for its EV Project, a federally funded initiative to install EV chargers across the country that Ecotality has called the largest rollout of EV infrastructure in US history.

Ecotality originally received approval for $99.8 million in 2009 for the project and won an additional $15 million in 2010, GigaOm reports.

A Pike Research report published in January named Ecotality a “contender” in the EV supply equipment market but warned that the company lacked the financial resources to allow it to stay in the market.

Two months later, Ecotality and fellow EV charging company ChargePoint formed a new company, Collaboratev, aimed to make it easier for drivers to access EV charging stations on any network. At the time, the companies said Collaboratev would enable charging network interoperability, exchange session data and allow financial billing reconciliation services among EV charging networks.

If Ecotality files for bankruptcy, it will join EV battery swapping company Better Place, which also struggled to secure funding. Despite its efforts to streamline business, Better Place’s revenues remained insufficient to cover operating costs, the company said upon filing a court motion in Israel on May 26 to liquidate the company.

Last month, Better Place was sold for $12 million to Sunrise Group, a group of American and Canadian businessmen led by Yosef Abramowitz. Abramowitz is president, co-founder and CEO of Energiya Global Capital as well as president and Co-Founder of Arava Power Company. CNN named him a Green Pioneer of 2012.

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