Ecotality's Blink charging station

In Blink electric-vehicle charging-station maker Ecotality's case, less juice from the banks and government means less juice for its customers. A funding shortfall is forcing Ecotality to address a software glitch within approximately 12,000 stations by reducing the power they supply to plugged-in plug-in vehicles.

Blink Level 2 stations that emit more than 30 amps can cause overheating that can, in some situations, melt the stations' handles and potentially damage vehicles such as the Ford Focus Electric, Toyota RAV4 EV and Honda Fit EV, Plug In Cars says, citing Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed by the company. The problem was discovered August 9.

Because of funding issues within the fledgling company, Ecotality doesn't have the cash to fix the software problem right now, which is why the company is merely reducing the power supplied by such stations. That means that Level 2 stations that are expected to deliver as many as 20 miles of driving range per charging hour may only deliver about half that distance.

Earlier this month, US Department of Energy cut stimulus payments to the company after Ecotality said it may have to file for bankruptcy because it can't get additional financing from the private sector. Ecotality, which has received more than $100 million in federal funds, has hired restructuring firm FTI Consulting. Ecotality is the project manager of the federal government's EV Project, in which $230 million was to be committed towards deploying 15,000 residential and commercial charging stations across the country.