Guest Post by Mara Zebest
ECOtality is an electric car-charging company that operates 600 charging stations in Arizona and depends on taxpayer-funded money to operate. The company is not capable of surviving in a competitive free-market capitalistic environment and is consequently bleeding money—all of which is our taxpayer dollars being flushed down the drain.
More crony-capitalism failure when Government attempts to pick winners and losers. History proves that Gov’t only succeeds at picking losers—due to elite pushing an agenda that no one wants. Only a free-market capitalistic system—without government intervention—thrives to produce winners when individual citizens support products in the market that succeed to fulfill a need.
KPHO reports the following:
PHOENIX (CBS5) – ECOtality, the electric car-charging company that operates more than 600 charging stations in Arizona, may be about to close its door.
Last month, the company disclosed a myriad of problems with the SEC. In that filing, ECOtality released the following statement:
“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.”
ECOTality was heavily involved in the federal government’s EV Project, sponsored by the Department of Energy. The goal of that program was to install charging stations and electric vehicle infrastructure throughout the United States.
In all, ECOtality says it installed more than 13,000 home and commercial charging units. The EV Project reimbursed the company for many of those installations, paying out nearly $100 million.
In the filing, the ECOtality says the DOE stopped making payments to the company. It also claims that its charging stations are not making a profit.
Additionally, the report says ECOtality has had trouble finding additional funding. It has also had to pay $855,000 in back wages and damages to settle Labor Department claims that it violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and Davis-Bacon Act.
A spokesperson for the company says no final decision on its future has been decided, but that could happen in the next 10 days.
ECOtality was based in Arizona until 2010, and is now headquartered in San Francisco.
Arizona Daily Star adds more information as follows:
Ecotality, the former Arizona electric-car-charging company that moved to San Francisco after being awarded $115 million in federal stimulus help, is near collapse.
The company disclosed an array of problems, including defects that cause some of its chargers to melt, in a regulatory filing last month.
It said the Department of Energy stopped making payments to the company. The stimulus funds were part of a program called the EV Project. The program’s goal was to help Ecotality and a variety of industry partners deploy electric-car charging stations across the country and study the most cost-effective way to roll them out as electric vehicles gain popularity.
The program has faced its own struggles, but Ecotality’s problems extend far beyond that line of business. The company also conducted testing for government agencies and has a line of electric forklifts and other service vehicles.
Among the problems disclosed by the company, a new product called the Minit Charger 12, part of its industrial line of electric vehicles, has “exhibited unacceptable performance shortfalls” and won’t be released this year as planned. [...]
Read more here.