Billionaire Unveils Russia's First Hybrid Car

Mass production will begin in the second half of 2012 with a price tag of $14,500.

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov earlier this week unveiled a new hybrid car that is due to come on the market in 2012, a first in a country where motorists often show scant regard for the environment.

The E-Mobile is a joint venture between Prokhorov's financial holding company Onexim group and the carmaker Yarovit-Motors. The hybrid operates on a combination of electricity and gasoline.

Mass production is due to be launched in the second half of 2012. The maximum price per unit will be 450,000 rubles (US$14,500), said Andrei Biryukov, the director of E-Auto.

The company's symbol is the Russian letter "Yo" written as an 'E' with two dots on top.

Biryukov said total investment will amount to 150 million euros (US$200 million) for the construction of the first assembly plant.

The group expects to produce 10,000 units annually. Three prototype models were unveiled on Monday -- a two-door car, a mini-van with five seats and a small cargo van.

The new car is in line with President Dmitry Medvedev's call on business to innovate and help the country economy wean itself of a reliance on hydrocarbons for energy and transport.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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