EV charger maker Ecotality says may file for bankruptcy
(Reuters) - Ecotality Inc ECTY.O, a maker of chargers for electric cars, said it may need to file for bankruptcy after failing to increase sales, sending its shares down as much as 84 percent.
If Ecotality files for bankruptcy, it will join a long list of U.S. alternative-energy companies that have fallen by the wayside.
Consumers have been slow to gravitate toward electric vehicles (EVs) because of their high cost and restricted driving range.
U.S. green car startup Coda Holdings Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May after selling just 100 of its all-electric sedans.
Ecotality, which operates under three businesses - Blink, Minit-Charger and eTec Labs - said it was exploring options for a restructuring, including a sale, and had retained FTI Consulting as an adviser.
Ecotality, which had said it wanted to build the largest EV smart charging network in the United States, was initially funded by the U.S. government.
However, a series of disappointing results cast a shadow over Ecotality's ability to continue.
The company, which has not reported an annual profit since it went public in 2005, said on Monday it could not generate enough revenue to support its operations in the second half of 2013, despite a switch from selling its chargers at a discount.
Ecotality said it was also unsure if it could resolve overheating problems in some of its installed chargers.
The company had capital lease obligations of $71,000 and other long-term debt of $188,000 as of March 31. It reported a first-quarter loss of $588,000 on revenue of $15.9 million.
Ecotality shares were down 73 percent at 39 cents in late-morning trading on the Nasdaq. The stock touched a life-low of 24 cents.
(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)