Ecotality Inc., headed by Pitt grad, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
By Lou Kilzer
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Ecotality Inc., a maker of Blink electric car-charging stations and headed by a University of Pittsburgh graduate, has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Phoenix.
Taxpayers are again the largest creditor of a failing “green” energy company thanks to a more than $6.46 million contract with the Department of Energy, which Ecotality is disputing. DOE provided the company with grants totaling $126.6 million to provide infrastructure for electric automobiles. CEO H. Ravi Brar is a graduate of Pitt's Katz School of Business.
A unit of the company, Electric Transportation Engineering, listed assets of up to $50 million and up to $500 million in debt in the filing.
In a statement, Brar called Monday's filing “regrettable” but added, “It is a necessary step to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of Blink customers and continue to operate the Blink network.”
It is the third of the Obama administration's showcase green energy firms to declare bankruptcy. The first failure — the solar company Solyndra — has been a lightning rod for critics of the administration's loans to green energy startups.
Brar could not be contacted Tuesday. His electronic mailbox said it was full.
In an SEC filing, San Francisco-based Ecotality reminded that it announced in August that it might be forced to file bankruptcy unless it found more funds because of weak sales. The DOE then suspended all funding pending an investigation.
The company told the SEC that it hoped to sell itself and continue operating as a “debtor in possession,” but that it could not make guarantees about the viability of its stock. Ecotality urged investors to use “extreme caution” when considering purchase of its equities.
The firm's stock traded for $2.40 earlier this year but fell into the $1.40s upon its Aug. 9 bankruptcy warning. The stock closed Tuesday at 16 cents.
Lou Kilzer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Marcellus shale driller Noble Energy Inc. sinks roots into Pittsburgh
- Minorities crucial to filling Marcellus shale gas drilling jobs
- ‘Fresher, different, lot more fun’ guide changes at Kings Family Restaurants
- Profit falls at American Eagle Outfitters on sales decline, charges
- Fuel-vapor system could block gas tank
- Highmark to merge with Blue Cross in NE Pennsylvania
- Highmark won’t pay hospital rates for care in physician offices
- Boeing releases details of self-destructing smartphone
- Municipal bonds do another about-face