According to the Washington Times, Ecotality received $135 million in total funding from the taxpayers during the past eight years including $35 million for two projects that were approved in 2005 and 2011, and a $100 million grant from the from the 2009 stimulus. The company filed for Chapter 11 back in September.
"We are deeply concerned because the information directly related to the objective of our audit, to determine whether the Department had effectively awarded and managed funding to Ecotality," the watchdog wrote in a report with eerie overtures from the Solyndra solar failure.
The Energy Department became of aware of Ecotality's problems May 21, when the company reported that it was not on track to meet its September milestones, which included installing charging stations and collecting electric vehicle usage data.Despite learning about the company's problems DOE did not inform the inspector general as required when submitting a report almost two months later.
"In fact, in its comments, the Department asserted that previous award modifications, discussed in our July 2013 audit report, made Ecotality's production and installations goals achievable," the watchdog wrote.But they weren't achievable as the company filed for bankruptcy just two months later, proving once again what happens when the federal government tries to pick winners in the market place.