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PHOTO CAPTION: Boxy 'Eco' electric car concept would run equivalent of around US$13,000 it is estimated.

First Glimpse of Russian Electric Car Concept

Four-place electric car dubbed 'Eco' is being developed by Russian industrial truck manufacturer Yarovit.

Published: 26-Jan-2010

Mikhail Prokhorov, considered Russia's richest man now has the official approval of Russian Federation Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to move forward on the development of an electric car. Approximately the size of a BMW Mini Cooper, the Yarovit design suggests that the electric drive motors are housed either in the wheels or below the full-length passenger cabin. Top speed appears to be 120 km/hr (75 mph) with a range of 400 km (250 miles).

Prokhorov isn't the first Russian to invest in electric vehicles. Much of the money behind Ener1, the parent holding company of EnerDel and a major shareholder in Think, the Norwegian EV manufacturer, comes from Boris Zingarevich, who also happens to be a good friend of President Dmitry Medvedev.

A significant economic factor driving this move, and the reason it has the Prime Minister's blessing -- and presumably that of Medvedev -- is that Russia wants to exports have tended to be energy in the form of oil and natural gas.

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