Despite DOE backing, electric vehicle firm ECOtality on bankruptcy watch

Following a 42 percent drop in stock value over the past year, electric vehicle firm ECOtality is weighing its financial future, which may include a sale or a bankruptcy restructuring, according to multiple reports.

The San Francisco-based company previously won a $99.9 million loan guarantee through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Department of Energy (DOE), which approved the funding, notified ECOtality it is suspending payments to the company’s EV Project, which is an effort to roll out electric vehicle charging stations.

ECOtality operates three businesses: Blink, fast electric vehicle chargers mounted into pedestals; Minit-Charger, a battery fast-charging technology designed for industrial applications; and eTec Labs an electric transportation research and development group.

In addition to the company’s financial issues, ECOtality also said it is facing overheating issues with some of its installed EV chargers, which can “in rare cases” cause connector plugs to melt.

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