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Back in January, Russia's domestically-built ë-mobile (that's pronounced yo-mobile, yo) – the natural gas hybrid minicar dreamed up by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov – was wheeled out for its public unveiling in Moscow. Last Friday, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin buckled in behind the wheel of the yo-mobile and set out on a three-mile journey to visit President Dmitry Medvedev.

Word of Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's plans to mass produce the world's cheapest natural gas hybrid minicar ($7,000 to $10,000) leaked out earlier this year. The billionaire's ambitious project calls for the construction of assembly plant in the Russian city of Togliatti starting in January 2011. Prokhorov's investment, a mere €150 million ($201 million U.S. at the current exchange rate), will supposedly fund construction of the facility and production of the the hybrid vehicles.