Taxpayer-backed ReVolt Technology to file bankruptcy

Battery technology firm ReVolt, formerly led by James McDougall, is reportedly filing for bankruptcy.

Taxpayer-backed ReVolt Technology, a battery technology company, plans to file bankruptcy.

The Portland-based company has been unable to raise new capital or find a buyer, so made the decision to close, according to a statement on the website of Viking Venture, one of its investors.

"ReVolt Technology has been a work and capital intensive venture since Viking Venture established the company together with SINTEF in 2004," said Viking Venture Managing Partner Erik Hagen, in the statement. "The potential of the technology has been considered huge and the company has attracted considerable capital from international investors as well as public grants. However, it is time to acknowledge that the company could not attract new capital in order to continue the development."

Company officials could not immediately be reached, but sources familiar with the company said ReVolt plans to make a Chapter 7 filing, which means it will be liquidated, not restructured.

Trondheim, Norway-based SINTEF is Scandinavia’s largest independent research organization.

ReVolt was developing a zinc-air battery technology that it said could deliver twice the energy of conventional rechargeable battery technologies, such as lithium-ion.

The company's taxpayer incentives included a $5 million federal stimulus grant in 2010. It also received state and local incentives, including $3.8 million in state loans and $1.1 million loan from the Portland Development Commission.

ReVolt CEO James McDougal served for most of the year as president of the board of directors for Drive Oregon, the state funded organization to support the electric vehicle industry, but stepped down a few weeks ago, according to Jeff Allen, Drive Oregon's executive director.

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