Meet Russia’s First Gas-Electric Hybrid Car

By dancurranjr On December 17th, 2010

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who owns the New Jersey Nets basketball team, rolled out another pet project on Monday: Russia’s first gas-electric hybrid car.

It is called the Yo (picture), for the Russian letter “?”, and it can use either gasoline or natural gas to generate its electric power.

Proponents say the Yo makes use of Russian engineering innovations but can be priced for mass consumption because of its bare-bones approach to hybrid automotive technology.

While two electric motors propel the Yo, a small petroleum engine that can burn either gasoline or natural gas will run nearly continuously to generate the electricity they consume. Instead of charging a battery, as in the hybrid Toyota Prius, the generator in the Yo either powers the motors directly or fills a bank of capacitors that can hold only a small charge.

The designers say that at about 108km per gallon, the Yo will achieve better fuel economy than the Toyota Prius, in part because it is lighter.

Like other gas-electric hybrids, it will also have a total range far beyond that of a pure plug-in electric car like the newly-introduced Nissan Leaf.

The Yo, which is expected to go on sale in Russia in mid-2012 and cost about US$14,500 ($18,900), will have a top speed of 80 miles 129kmh and a range of 1090km if both its natural gas and gasoline tanks are filled.

SOURCE: Today Online

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