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.
Yo-Auto, the Mikhail Prokhorov-owned automaker that's been making plans to build the first Russia-made hybrid car, will scale down production of its Yo-Mobile to less than half of its previous goal when the car goes live in 2015, Ria Novosti reports, citing company executive Andrei Ginzburg. The company, part of Prokhorov's Onexim Group, will make about 40,000 units a year, down from its prior target of about 90,000. There are also reports that Fiat will supply the engine for the hybrid, though
Hybrids are generally known more for their fuel economy than speed. True to form, Russia's first gas-electric model just got a little slower.
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.