While the US is being beseiged by green cars such as the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf, Russia has been having to make do with their gas-guzzling automobiles. Luckily, all that is about to change because Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who just happens to be one of the richest people in the world, is working on the country’s first hybrid car, and has announced that it is set to be released in 2012. Called the E-Mobile, the hybrid will powered by a combination of gasoline and electricity and will cost about $14,500 (450,000 rubles).

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Prokhorov, who also owns the New Jersey Nets, said that the E-Mobile is a joint venture between the carmaker Yarovit-Motors and Onexim group (Prokhorov’s financial holding company). The new car will have a fuel efficiency of 67 miles per gallon and will be able to reach a top speed of 81mph.

Prokhorov has reportedly spent $198.4 million on building and selling the hybrid, but it will be interesting to see how it is embraced in Russia. The country has never exactly been big on energy efficient technology, let alone automobiles. In light of that, Prokhorov is planning on releasing a hybrid mini-van and cargo van based on the E-mobile to appeal to more businesses.

+ Yarovit-Motors