These Russian hybrid cars are actually affordable

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov is best known to Americans as the owner of the New Jersey Nets NBA franchise.

In Russia, however, he is reportedly the second richest individual in the nation and the 39th richest person in the world. But now he is also the latest to get into the green car game, unveiling in Moscow three hybrid prototypes from his E-Mobile project.

E-Auto, the name of the group behind these vehicles, is said by AFP to be a joint venture between Prokhorov’s financial holding company Onexim group and the carmaker Yarovit-Motors. 

The hybrid vehicles will be sold under the Yo brand name, according to the state run Russian news agency Ria Novosti, who also said they will have a price tag of under $10,000. 

Components for the car will begin production in the second half of 2012, at which point sales will also begin.

As far as on the road specifications go, the Wall Street Journal notes the vehicles – of which were showcased a small van, mini-van and two seater – will only reach speeds of just over 80 MPH, while getting around 67 miles per gallon.

The billionaire is reportedly sinking almost $200 million into the E-Auto venture, with the hope that 10,000 of these hybrids will be produced annually and of enough interest to Russians, and perhaps later other Europeans, to buy and drive them.

Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling