Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's Yo-auto will sell the first Russian-made hybrid-electric vehicles by the end of 2012, as Prokhorov previously estimated, and won't be delayed by his decision to run against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in next year's presidential elections.
The Russian newspaper RIA Novosti, citing Russian television station Rossiya 24, reports that Prokhorov, the co-owner of Yo-Auto, said the company will try to sell the hybrid, called the Yo-mobile, for less than $10,000 in order to offer the Russian public a reasonably-priced, highly fuel-efficient car. The company will produce as many as 45,000 Yo-mobile vehicles a year from its factory near St. Petersburg, and will double production once the second stage of the factory is completed.
Prokhorov's Onexim Group, along with Russia-based truckmaker Yarovit, is investing about $200 million in a car-making plant that's received public support from Putin. This past April, Putin took a prototype of the hybrid on a three-mile test drive to the home of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Prokhorov acquired the NBA's New Jersey Nets last year.