ReVolt clashed with state officials

ReVolt CEO James McDougall complained to state officials about the loan approval process. 

Executives at ReVolt Technology LLC repeatedly clashed with state officials, according to records obtained by the Portland Business Journal through a public records request.

The battery technology company collapsed after receiving $11.8 million in taxpayer backing, including a $5 million loan from the State Energy Loan Program.

After the company failed last year, the Business Journal requested copies of any emails exchanged between state officials and ReVolt executives. The state responded last week with more than 600 pages of documents.

The documents show ReVolt executives grew increasingly frustrated with the loan application process and repeatedly disagreed with proposed terms of the loans.

Those frustrations boiled over in May 2010 when ReVolt CEO James McDougall wrote then-Oregon Department of Energy Executive Director Bob Repine and said delays approving the loan could jeopardize the entire project.

Notes from a May conference call between state officials and ReVolt executives further document the frustrations.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Energy knew of no other companies that had complained about the length of time it took to process a loan. A business owner who received a similar loan said there were no delays in the process.

As reported Wednesday, the documents also show ReVolt painted a compelling picture of itself as a fast-rising star in sustainable business with battery technology that could lead to the widespread adoption of electric cars.

It's unclear why the company failed. ReVolt officials didn’t make any public statements before leaving town.

An October statement on the website of Viking Venture, one of ReVolt’s investors, said the company was unable to attract additional venture capital to sustain the company as it brought its technology to market.

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