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USA: Ecotality Examined: Big Executive Bonuses as DOE Keeps Company Afloa

As Scribe noted in part two of our series on Ecotality, a company spokeswoman claimed in 2010 that federal support for the company was indicative of the success of the stimulus package. But was Ecotality really a good bet for taxpayers?
In addition to the stimulus funds it received in 2010 as part of the EV Project, Ecotality got a $26.4 million Energy Department grant in October of last year as part of DOE’s “Advanced Vehicle Testing and Evaluation project.” The award makes Ecotality the exclusive tester for the project.
That additional award came in the middle of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation that started at least as far back as October 2010.
The investigation has targeted 18 individuals involved with the company, including its CEO Jonathan Read, his son Colin, the company’s vice president of corporate development, Colin’s wife and father-in-law, Ecotality’s senior VP of engineering, its former secretary and treasurer, a member of the board of directors, the director of stakeholder services at Ecotality North America, and numerous major Ecotality investors.
In short, the company is waist-deep in a federal investigation. And yet the DOE decided to double down on its investment in Ecotality despite the ongoing SEC probe.
Meanwhile, the company is in dire financial straits. Ecotality stock is down almost 84% since May of 2010, and it now sits below a dollar per share. According to Forbes, the company has a five-year average return on invested capital of negative 210.2%.


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