Green

On the GreenBeat: Coda copies Apple’s sales strategy, DuPont beats forecast and hits $1 billion in solar sales

Coda will be selling its $45,000 all-electric sedan in malls, a sales strategy the startup likens to Apple’s. The company plans to put up storefronts within 10 to 12 miles of its target demographic (stores are planned for Los Angeles and California’s Bay Area) and plans to retain control of the stores, servicing cars, proffering a “no-pressure” sales environment and offering the cars for sale without markup. The company made waves when it announced the high price tag earlier this week because the relatively unknown vehicle is priced well above the cost of the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, which, like Coda’s sedan, will be released in December.

BrightSource’s giant solar proposal, the 392-megawatt Ivanpah project, cleared a key hurdle yesterday –- it received approval from the California Energy Commission. The project will span 3,600 acres (pared down from a planned 4,000 acres after environmentalists complained) and could provide enough energy to power 140,000 homes. The Department of Energy granted the company a $1.4 billion loan for the project (the Ivanpah site is pictured below). We reported yesterday that BrightSource, which has raised $330 million to date, is poised to pursue an IPO in 2011.

Electric motorcycle-maker Brammo wants to raise $30 million to fuel its next round of growth, Earth2Tech reports, citing an SEC filing made this week. So far, the company has raised $12.5 million towards that goal. Brammo is working on building a speedier, more expensive and longer-range bike called the Empulse.

DuPont announced it expects $1 billion in revenues from its photovoltaic solar division this year, an improvement from its previous forecast, which didn’t expect to cross that milestone until 2011. The chemicals giant makes a film and a paste used in building photovoltaic solar cells. DuPont’s forecast was encouraged by research that showed solar technology is getting cheaper and more competitive with traditional energy sources.

Spending on the smart grid services market is poised to hit $4.3 billion by 2015, according to a new report from Pike Research. The report forecasts that spending on smart grid services next year will reach $821 million, 75 percent more than the $470 million to be spent this year. Utilities, analysts say, lack the know-how to fully implement smart grids on their own, hence the projected boom in the market for consultants, maintenance and deployment services. And in other smart grid forecasts, GTM Research said yesterday that the overall smart grid market in the U.S. will be worth $9.6 billion by 2015.