To paraphrase an old anti-drug campaign, one of Russia's wealthiest men is just saying "nyet" to building what would be the country's first home-produced hybrid-electric vehicle. Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim Group, which first announced the Yo-hybrid line of vehicles in 2010, is walking away from the effort. Onexim is selling the company to the state-owned Nami Institute for a grand total of 1 euro, according to RT News.
Early this year, we learned that Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov had initiated a project, backed by the government, to mass produce the world's cheapest hybrid vehicle. It's an ambitious plan, one that calls for construction of a plant in the Russian city of Togliatti starting in January 2011. Prokhorov's investment, a mere €150 million ($208 million U.S. at the current exchange rate), will supposedly fund construction of the plant and the hybrid, but we remain skeptical.
Mikhail Prokhorov, also known as the Richest Man in Russia and hopeful new owner of the New Jersey Nets NBA franchise, is reportedly planning to launch a new city car through his Onexim Group. Reports coming out of Russia are saying that the vehicle will sport some kind of "advanced technology," which many are taking to mean either a hybrid or fully electric drivetrain.