ECOtality, a San Francisco-based maker of charging stations for electric vehicles, has a new CEO. Ravi Brar is in; Jonathan Read is out.
Brar joined ECOtality in 2010 as CFO and was named CEO Wednesday. He previously worked at Exigen Services, Inc., Pac-West Telecom and Xerox.
Read, ECOtality’s president and CEO since the company’s founding in 2005, is leaving the company to “explore new development opportunities.”
Ecotality says that as of mid-August, it has installed 8,100 charging stations, mostly along the East and West coasts and in Phoenix, Texas and Tennessee. Some are private charging stations; others are part of its “Blink” network.
But the company is widely perceived as struggling. It recently reported $13 million in revenue but is low on cash. It faces competition from other start-ups like Coulomb Technologies, Better Place and ClipperCreek. And the stock has been trading under $1 for several weeks.
“We’re going to continue to focus on expanding the network,” said Brar, who has a background in telecom, in an interview. “That drives our current revenue and our long term stability. ” That drives our current revenue and our long term stability. We’re well positioned to continue to grow, and that will have a positive impact on our stock price.”
California also inked a controversial agreement with NRG Energy that allows NRG to build a network of electric vehicle charging stations, and many electric vehicle advocates worry that NRG will become the default provider of charging stations throughout the state. ECOtality filed a lawsuit contending that California’s legal settlement with NRG was illegal and hurts consumers.
ECOtality (ECTY) closed at $0.46 Wednesday and was down slightly in after-hours trading.