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Another government funded green biz bites the dust

BlinkHQ_Home_Charger-668Southern California’s hope to create an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure hit a snag on Monday, August 12th, when the U.S. Department of Energy announced they are suspending ALL payments to ECOtality, which could lead to a bankruptcy filing.

ECOtality is a San Francisco, California-based company which manufactures and sells charging systems for electric vehicles pursuant to an agreement with the DoE.

If you notice, there are only select locations throughout LA County with EV charging systems due to installation costs and energy costs when in use.

ECOtality has received more than $40 million of a $115 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to install 14,000 stations, but has so far managed to put in place less than half that total; furthermore the company is also under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissions, regarding possible insider trading and has already received several subpoenas.

ECOtality has made many promises to municipalities, such as in San Diego.  San Diego wooed carsharing company Car2go with the promise of x amount of charging stations being installed upon their arrival and failed to deliver.  In Downtown LA, ECOtality was working with Jones Lang LaSalle and the EV Project, to install charging stations in the many commercial office spaces, but that also failed to materialize on a large-scale.  Word on the streets is Edison International is looking into creating not only expanding its EV infrastructure, but also wants to bring electric vehicle carsharing through their Edison Electric Vehicle affiliate.

Apparently Edison pays for the installation of charging stations then reimburses property managers/owners for the cost of electricity to their areas utility companies, when someone uses the charging station.  Edison recently announced they have a large consumer base of EV owners, but where is the infrastructure outside of Edison’s territory?  And HOW will Edison approach ensuring their customers can charge throughout the state?

First Solyndra and now ECOtality?  How does a company go bankrupt that is receiving government subsidies?  Bad business practices huh ECOtality?


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About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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