Miles Electric Vehicles, an electric car manufacturer based in Los Angeles, Calif., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Tuesday, court documents showed. The automaker listed assets worth an estimated $10 million to $50 million, and liabilities were estimated at between $50 million and $100 million.
The company was founded in 2004 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Miles Rubin. Its electric vehicles have been manufactured in China. In 2005, the automaker made headlines when its ZX40 EV hit the U.S. market, In Auto News, an auto industry news site, reported.
Miles Electric Vehicles is among a number of automakers attempting to build emission-free electric cars to appeal to mass-market consumers. Fisker Automotive, another electric vehicle start-up based in California, is also considering a bankruptcy filing, according to Reuters.
The last major electric car company bankruptcy came in May, when the Israeli electric car battery supplier Better Place, which had hoped to revolutionize the auto industry with its innovative battery-swapping stations, filed for bankruptcy, CNN reported.
Large automakers General motors Co. and Nissan Motor Co. have also invested heavily in electric vehicles, but sales have been low.
Battery-operated vehicles have had a hard time gaining acceptance. Consumers are slow to move to electric vehicles due to their high costs, and consumers have concerns about their driving range, Reuters reported.
The U.S. Department of Energy has backed away from President Obama’s goal of putting 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015. It has laid out a more realistic strategy, promoting advanced-drive vehicles, according to Reuters.
The case is Miles Electric Vehicles, Case No. 13-11511, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware.