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Bankruptcy clouds fate of LBCC charging stations

The fate of the four electric vehicle charging stations on LBCC campuses in Albany, Lebanon and Corvallis is unknown, after, Ecotality, the company that built and installed them declared bankruptcy last week.

“The two charging stations that we bought on the main campus were purchased outright,” said Scott Krambuhl, LBCC’s director of facilities. “The two units at the Lebanon and Benton campuses were subsidized by Blink and Ecotality. Blink is a subsidiary of Ecotality and manufactures the software and network to get onto the charging system.”

Krambuhl said the companies gave LBCC the hardware on a grant.

“But we had to pay to install the stations, such as setting up power at the four stations,” Krambuhl. “The deal was that at the end of the year, the stations become ours. They are still their property for three months, but then, they become ours anyway.”

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Bankruptcy clouds fate of LBCC charging stations

The fate of the four electric vehicle charging stations on LBCC campuses in Albany, Lebanon and Corvallis is unknown, after, Ecotality, the company that built and installed them declared bankruptcy last week.

“The two charging stations that we bought on the main campus were purchased outright,” said Scott Krambuhl, LBCC’s director of facilities. “The two units at the Lebanon and Benton campuses were subsidized by Blink and Ecotality. Blink is a subsidiary of Ecotality and manufactures the software and network to get onto the charging system.”

Krambuhl said the companies gave LBCC the hardware on a grant.

“But we had to pay to install the stations, such as setting up power at the four stations,” Krambuhl. “The deal was that at the end of the year, the stations become ours. They are still their property for three months, but then, they become ours anyway.”

Krambuhl said he “doesn’t have a great feel for what’s going to happen. We don’t know how the networking will work.”

Krambuhl said the stations have had “very little use.”

The main campus charging stations were installed in 2010 and in December 2012, Krambuhl estimated there had been more than 400 total charges on them in the past year. There had been 100 charges in the first 18 months of use.

Each of the stations were equipped for both 120 volt and 240 volt charges.

Ecotality is believed to have assets of $50 million and debt of up to $500 million.

It has operated charging stations under the brand name, Blink.

According to its bankruptcy filing, the U.S. Energy Department is owed $6.5 million, plus two cost-sharing grants with the agency totaling more than $126 million.

The company plans to put all of its assets up for auction.

The Blink network includes more than 4,000 commercial charging stations and another 8,000 stations in homes.

Alex Paul is the Linn County reporter for the Democrat-Herald. He can be contacted at 541-812-6114 or alex.paul@lee.net.

Copyright 2013 Albany Democrat Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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