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.
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 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.