EV charging system maker Ecotality has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors, saying that it wants to sell its assets in an auction. The Associated Press is reporting that Ecotality might be forced to sell or file for bankruptcy after the U.S. government suspended payments as part of the Department of Energy EV Project. Ecotality, based in San Francisco, makes charging and power-storage systems for electric vehicles under the Blink and Minit Charger. It also makes charging stations for Nissan’s Leaf brands, and provides testing services for government agencies, auto makers and utilities. The company now says that it would prefer to sell its assets through a court approved bankruptcy auction.
Ecotality has received funding from the state of California and the federal governments of Australia and the United States, including more than $100 million in funding from the Department of Energy since 2009. The Energy Department suspended payments to Ecotality last month after the company said that it might not be able to find new financing to meet benchmarks demanded by the DoE program.
Ecotality lost $9.6 million in 2012 on $54.7 million in revenue, an improvement over its $22.5 million loss in 2011. However, the charging station maker said in a SEC filing in August that it was not selling sufficient commercial products to sustain operations through the end of 2014. The company had recently announced that due to “unacceptable performance” during testing it would not release a new industrial Minit Charger as scheduled. If all that bad news was not enough, Ecotality is also facing an investor lawsuit based on allegations of failing to meet federal securities laws.