The electric vehicle market is not, by any means, stable and growing. Some companies have been lost along the way. ECOtality, purveyor of fast-charging stations, could be next.
When I mention fatalities in the electric vehicle market, feel free to name names, such as recently bankrupt CODA Motors, Fisker Automotive, A123 Systems. On the other hand, there are plenty of success stories, including Tesla Motors, of course, Nissan Leaf, and Chevy Volt. One thing that all these have in common is the need for fast-charging stations. We recently did a story on one Nissan Leaf owner who uses an ECOtality Blink DC Faster Charger in the state of Washington.
Other electric vehicle fast-charging stations are out there, such as the Tesla Supercharger Network, which is only compatible with the Tesla Model S, and other networks that are a little more rounded in their compatibility, such as the eVgo Network and the Recargo Network. ECOtality’s Blink Network is now on hold after receiving notice from the Department of Energy that it would be suspending payments on a promised $115 million.
ECOtality announced on August 12, 2013:
We wanted you to know that the needs of our drivers are paramount to us and despite the challenges we currently face, we will continue to operate the Blink Network and maintain our Blink chargers until further notice. We urge you to visit a Blink charger today and show that you support the growth of a public charging infrastructure.
ECOtality has been struggling to increase sales and work with a lingering heat problem, as well as develop new technology to bring to market. Aside from setting up for potential sale of the business, bankruptcy is a potential outcome, which doesn’t bode well for users of the network.To be sure, it is the future of personal transportation as we know it, but it seems that trial and error are going to be a part of the game for some time, not only of electric vehicles, but of the technology that supports them, including ECOtality’s Blink Charging Network.
Image © ECOtality