ECOtality warns of potential bankruptcy filing
The company said it had appointed FTI Consulting to investigate whether the business could be restructured or sold, but added that it may be unable to raise the capital to continue trading during the second half of the year.
Ecotality had been working towards a nationwide charging infrastructure under its government-subsidied EV Project, installing charging points along major highways on the West Coast of the United States, as well as in commercial locations all over the country.
But it said regular commercial sales hadn’t reached the anticipated levels, while its forthcoming Minit Charger 12 unit was going to be delayed due to ‘shortfalls’ with the prototype, removing another revenue stream.
To make life more difficult, the company is facing complaints that plugs have melted in some of its installations. Investigations are ongoing and the company has reduced maximum power output as a precaution, but it said some carmakers were advising customers not to use the units, and that it might have to recover the cost of fixing the fault in the future.
With no additional external funding obtained during the first half of the year, and Department of Energy funding suspended on the EV Project, the company is concerned that it won’t have the capital available to continue operating for the remainder of 2013.
In a statement on its website, Ecotality said: ‘We wanted you to know that the needs of our drivers are paramount to us and despite the challenges we currently face, we will continue to operate the Blink Network and maintain our Blink chargers until further notice. We urge you to visit a Blink charger today and show that you support the growth of a public charging infrastructure.’