| Sept 17
Sept 17 Ecotality Inc, a maker of
charging stations for electric cars that won a $99.8 million
grant from the U.S. Department of Energy four years ago, has
filed for bankruptcy protection and said it plans to auction its
assets next month.
The San Francisco-based company is among a growing number of
U.S. alternative-energy companies that have struggled or
succumbed amid consumer resistance to the high cost and
restricted driving range associated with electric vehicles.
Ecotality and five affiliates filed for Chapter 11
protection on Monday night with the U.S. bankruptcy court in
The company said eight parties have expressed interest in
bidding on its assets and that it wants to hold an auction on
Oct. 9, with a closing to occur within two days.
Citing "significant liquidity constraints and the difficulty
of obtaining long-term financing," Ecotality said an auction is
necessary to maximize value for creditors and avoid a "fire-sale
Ecotality makes systems for electric vehicles under the
Blink and Minit Charger brands. It had warned on Aug. 12 that a
bankruptcy filing was possible, amid disappointing sales and a
suspension of payments from the federal government.
Among other U.S. alternative energy companies, green car
startup Coda Holdings Inc filed for bankruptcy protection in May
after selling just 100 all-electric sedans.
Meanwhile, the Energy Department on Tuesday said it will in
October sell a non-performing loan made to another green car
startup, Fisker Automotive.
Ecotality's $99.8 million grant was awarded in August 2009
to help develop the EV Project, a network of charging stations
for vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf in major
U.S. metropolitan areas.
The company said Nissan North America Inc agreed to provide
up to $1.25 million of financing to keep it operating during the
bankruptcy. Court approval is required for that loan.
According to a court filing, the Energy Department is owed
$6.5 million as the largest unsecured creditor of Ecotality
affiliate Electric Transportation Engineering Corp.
A hearing on Ecotality's "first-day motions," including that
it be allowed to pay employees and vendors, is scheduled for
Shares of Ecotality closed on Tuesday down 7.2 cents, or
31.1 percent, at 15.9 cents on the Nasdaq. They closed at $1.46
on Aug. 9, the last trading day before Ecotality warned of a
possible Chapter 11 filing.
The case is In re: Ecotality Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court,
District of Arizona, No. 13-16127.