The federal government placed a $100 million bet that ECOtality would be a winner. San Diego regulators preferred private companies over public utilities in building out the city's electric vehicle charging infrastructure. What neither had counted on was bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy of ECOtality, a maker of commercial and residential electric vehicle charging infrastructure, stranded about 13,000 commercial and residential stations. The assets of the company, which had won a $99.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy four years ago are being sold at auction. An initial offer of $3 million from a little known company called Tellus Power Inc. is now the bid to beat in order to win control of the company.
The auction of the stranded assets is only part of cleaning up what was both a policy and market failure. As CleanTech San Diego Chairman Jim Waring discusses in this episode of For The Record, it is a cautionary tale for policy makers and regulators in other communities as they roll out EV charging stations in a still nascent and volatile market.
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