Billionaire Prokhorov plans Russia’s first electric-cars

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov announced that he plans to unveil Russia’s first hybrid electric-car this year as the government tries to reduce reliance on natural resources. Prokhorov’s Onexim Group will invest 150 million euros ($204 million) in a joint venture with Russian truck maker Yarovit and will roll out three electric car prototypes in December.

The move will set up several production facilities across Russia and abroad. The companies plan on building the first factory in Jan. 2011 and expect to “break even on the operational level” once production kicks-off in mid-2012.

Prokhorov is Russia’s second-richest man and won approval of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to build one of the planned electric car factories in Togliatti, where the state-run automaker OAO AvtoVAZ is based.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)