There have certainly been reports of problems with some Ecotality stations and projects, but the news out this week is bigger than anything we've seen before. Ecotality, the maker of Blink charging stations that is says have delivered over 98 million electric miles to customers so far, admits 2013 has been a tough year. Sales of the company's EVSEs (i.e., charging stations) were down, the planned Minit Charger was full of problems and thus will not be released as planned and now the DOE has suspended stimulus payments to Ecotality. The net result? Another possible bankruptcy in the EV world.
In a recent SEC filing, Ecotality said:
You can read the company's current 8-K report here. For the past few years, ECOtality has been the project manager of The EV Project, a $230-million effort funded in part by a $114.8-million DOE federal stimulus grant to install 15,000 commercial and residential charging stations. Some of those stations are not working as advertised. The company told the SEC:
Although the Company is currently exploring options for a restructuring or sale of the entire business and/or assets of the Company, the Company may need to file a petition commencing a case under the United States Bankruptcy Code as part of any such process or otherwise in the very near future.
So, yeah, problems all around.
The Company is facing some uncertainty regarding the resolution of a phenomenon occurring in some of the Company's previously installed EVSEs which causes overheating, and in certain rare cases melting, of the connector plug that connects the EVSE to the electric vehicle when charging.