Hybrids are generally known more for their fuel economy than speed. True to form, Russia's first gas-electric model just got a little slower.
Yo Auto, the hybrid-vehicle maker launched with help from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, said the Yo Mobile model will be pushed back to early 2015, reports Agence France-Presse. Originally, it was supposed to debut later this year.
An executive with Yo Auto, who resigned because of the delay, said the hold-up was caused by supply issues from a U.S.-based parts maker whose identity wasn't disclosed. The executive denied that the delay was due to the fact that Yo Mobile was nothing more than a publicity stunt. Prokhorov touted the vehicles during a presidential run last spring, then stopped talking about them.
Prokhorov, who owns the National Basketball Association's Brooklyn Nets (formerly the New Jersey Nets), said in late 2010 that the Yo Mobile would see the light of day by the end of 2012. He also once claimed that his company would produce up to 45,000 Yo Mobile vehicles a year from its factory near St. Petersburg and sell them for between U.S. $10,000 and $15,000. Prokhorov's Onexim Group, along with Russia-based truckmaker Yarovit, was said to be investing about $200 million in a plant to build the cars.
Earlier this year, Yo Auto started pitching a crossover hybrid that can run on both gasoline and compressed natural gas (CNG) and can get about 65 miles per gallon. No price or release dates have been announced.