PHOTO CAPTION: Yo-Mobile concept car.

Yo-Mobil Just One Example of Stalled Russian Technology

Dual-fueled hybrid car showed technological promise only to be delayed and the money behind it decides to retire.

Published: 30-Nov-2012

> On the swampy outskirts of St. Petersburg, a group of men are killing time playing cards as they guard a prestige project of Russian industrial policy: an abandoned factory building.

Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov laid the cornerstone for this new neon-orange-painted production plant. The idea is to produce a car that is as hip as Daimler's Smart microcar and sells for the bargain equivalent of €9,000 ($11,700) -- an unbeatable combination that will hopefully make it an export hit.

Prokhorov promised to invest €150 million to cover the engineering costs of the "Yo-mobil," for the Russian letter "ë." This modern, gas-electric hybrid vehicle aims to finally debunk the cliché that Russia is only capable of exporting natural gas, tanks and nuclear power plants.


Yo-Mobil offers dual fuel capability and an ultracapacitor-based hybrid drive.

Annual production capacity of the first Yo-mobile plant near St. Petersburg is estimated at 45,000 cars.

Yo-mobil prototype being tested by Vladimir Putin.

Yo-mobil is unique kind of series hybrid that uses new type of reciprocating motor that runs on both compressed natural gas and gasoline, and uses ultracapacitors instead of batteries for regenerative braking.

Russian President Putin at wheel of early Yo-Mobile prototype.

Critics see development of early prototypes as publicity stunt to win Mikhail Prokhorov votes in Russian elections.


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