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Electric-Car Charging Network Ecotality Files For Bankruptcy

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ECOtality DC fast charger  -  Portland, OR

ECOtality DC fast charger - Portland, OR

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The writing has been on the wall for a while now, but Ecotality filed for bankruptcy on Monday, according a report yesterday by the Associated Press.

The provider of electric-car charging stations, known for its Blink network, has been troubled for some time.

More than a year ago, Blink's charging stations were rated as significantly less reliable than those provided by the Chargepoint Network.

The reliability study was conducted by Tom Saxton of Plug-In America, who looked at the uptime of each station on each network.

If frequent comments on electric-car forums are any indication, continuing problems with Blink stations have led many plug-in drivers to shun them when alternatives are available.

The bulk of Ecotality's revenues were derived from The EV Project, a Federally-funded effort that provided free electric-car charging for a period of time to gather data on drivers' behavior, mileage, and charging patterns.

With that project nearing its end, it appears Ecotality was not able to cover its costs and make a viable business out of selling recharging services at public charging stations.

Trading in Ecotality shares was suspended five weeks ago, with the news emerging two days later that the Department of Energy had halted its payments to the company and that it would have to recall 12,000 charging stations to fix their plugs.

The DoE has provided more than $100 million in payments to Ecotality since 2009, according to the AP.

The company's assets will most likely be sold at auction, to satisfy payments due to employees and creditors.

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