(Reuters) -- Two affiliates of failed U.S. electric-car maker Coda Automotive filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, in another sign of the challenges facing the "green" car industry.
Lio Energy Systems Holdings and Miles Electric Vehicles are seeking to have their cases jointly administered with those of parent Coda Holdings and its affiliates, including Coda Automotive, which filed for bankruptcy on May 1.
U.S. consumers have been slow to embrace electric vehicles due to high purchase prices, lack of an adequate charging infrastructure and concerns with driving range.
Among the prominent "green" car makers that face an uncertain future is Southern California-based Fisker Automotive Inc., which is seeking a buyer after hiring bankruptcy advisers.
General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. are among automakers that have invested heavily in electric vehicles, but sales have been slow.
Miles Electric Vehicles was founded in 2004 by entrepreneur Miles Rubin and was one of the first U.S. companies to import small, battery-powered electric cars from China. It has focused mainly on low-speed vehicles -- electric cars limited to speeds of 25 miles per hour and intended mainly for off-road use by universities and park services.
Rubin is a co-founder and former chairman of Coda Automotive, which was established in 2009 but sold just 100 of its Chinese-made all-electric sedans before closing its doors earlier this year.
In court filings, Lio Energy Systems is described as a direct subsidiary of Coda Holdings, while Miles Electric Vehicles is a direct subsidiary of Lio Energy.
Lio Energy was established in 2009 as a joint venture between Coda and China's state-owned Lishen Power Battery to develop and provide lithium ion batteries for electric cars and utilities.
Coda raised $344 million from such high-profile investors as former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and L Brands Inc. Chief Executive Les Wexner. But in 2012 it withdrew its request for $334 million in federal loans similar to those received by Fisker and Tesla Motors Inc.
In its May 1 petition, Coda said it is exiting the car business to focus on development and sale of energy storage systems through its subsidiary Coda Energy. A group of lenders led by Fortress Investment Group is seeking to acquire the company's assets for $25 million through the bankruptcy process.
Coda's predecessor, according to court documents, was Miles Automotive Group, which was founded in 2005 and originally planned to sell an electric sedan called XS 500 -- a battery-powered compact developed by China's Hafei Automotive that eventually morphed into the $38,000 Coda Sedan.
The U.S. Department of Energy in January backed away from President Barack Obama's goal of putting 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015, and laid out what experts called a more realistic strategy of promoting advanced-drive vehicles and lowering their cost.
Tesla has put thousands of cars on the road, but Fisker is considering a bankruptcy filing unless a new financial backer emerges. Fisker's lithium-ion battery supplier, A123 Systems Inc., filed for bankruptcy late last year.