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Lots Of Orders For Yo Russian Natural-Gas Hybrid, Prokohorov Says

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Prokhorov CityCar natural-gas hybrid vehicle, design prototype

Prokhorov CityCar natural-gas hybrid vehicle, design prototype

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According to Russian billionaire businessman Mikhail Prokhorov, the company building a new natural-gas hybrid car known as the Yo now has orders stretching out as far as 10 years into the future.

The business magnate, investor, and former basketball player told satellite TV channel Russia Today about the 10-year order book this morning.

Yo-Auto said last month that it had 100,000 orders.

Last October, Prokhorov--who also owns the New York Nets basketball team--announced that he was founding the company with an investment of 150 million Euros ($200 million), to create and build a truly Russian-designed car in his home country.

The name, Yo, is the Russian pronunciation of the letter "e," for its environmental credentials.

Prokhorov CityCar natural-gas hybrid vehicle, design prototype

Prokhorov CityCar natural-gas hybrid vehicle, design prototype

Enlarge Photo
Prokhorov CityCar natural-gas hybrid vehicle, design prototype

Prokhorov CityCar natural-gas hybrid vehicle, design prototype

Enlarge Photo

More details emerged in a December briefing, where the car was revealed as a series hybrid with a rotary-vane engine powering a generator to flow current to a pair of small electric traction motors.

At times of high power demand, extra current is fed in from a bank of capacitors that can discharge at very high voltage, though they are likely exhausted within a few dozen seconds--after which the engine is again the main source of current.

The target weight for the subcompact Yo is 1,500 pounds or less. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph will be leisurely, somewhere between 8 and 14 seconds, with a top speed of about 75 miles per hour.

Prokhorov CityCar natural-gas hybrid vehicle, design prototype

Prokhorov CityCar natural-gas hybrid vehicle, design prototype

Enlarge Photo
On the other hand, the gas mileage is said to be more than 60 miles per gallon when running on that fuel; it will also run on liquified petroleum gas (LPG) to be stored in cylinders mounted in the chassis. Range if both fuel systems are filled is said to be 680 miles.

Prokhorov hopes to put the car on sale between July and December next year, at a price of 350,000-450,000 rubles ($12,000-$15,000). Annual production will be around 45,000 cars the first year, with the potential to double that number with a later expansion of the plant near St. Petersburg.

Much publicity was devoted to an April drive of the Yo by Soviet strongman Vladimir Putin, complete with video.

[Ria Novosti]

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Comments (3)
  1. Does anyone with any business sense take a backlog of orders for "10 years" as a serious statement?

    First, no one can predict such things 10 years in advance.
    Second, if you really had those orders, a smart business would ramp up and fill them.
    Third, in a competitive marketplace, someone will take those orders away from you.
     
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  2. John Briggs: I think one needs to take into account that this is the new Lada: a homegrown contraption tailor made for the proles of Putin's thug-o-cracy. Russia has already reformed it's tax system to ensure that Russians will have little choice but to buy these things rather than expensive imports. Hence the long term optimism I guess. Like the Lada, I doubt there will be much of market for these things outside Russia though.
     
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  3. Chris O you obviously forget the Lada sold for many years outside Russia especially on price for size of car.They were robust honest cars although not fashionable. The experience was akin to driving something from the past being similar to a collectors car which many find endearing. With all the interest in alternative drive systems this car too could be a success in the west if priced low like the Lada.
     
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