Pope Benedict XVI is already called “The Green Pope” thanks to measured taken since his installation to reduce the carbon footprint of the Vatican City.
Now the Vatican can add green transport to the list of the Pontiff’s green virtues, thanks to an electric city car donated to the Vatican by Italian electric car company NWG.
A 2-seat electric city car with a top speed of 62 mph and a range of around 86 miles per charge, the tiny car has already received its papal blessing and will be used for official Papal business around the Vatican City.
Back in 2010, the Vatican disclosed that His Holiness The Pope was keen to bless electric cars for Vatican use, but later admitted that it felt that electric cars couldn’t cope with the high amount of armor now standard on every Papal car.
Instead, it promised, a plug-in hybrid Popemobile was on the way.
Built by Mercedes-Benz, the new Popemobile combines an M-Class SUV with the plug-in hybrid technology found inside the Mercedes Vision S500 plug-in hybrid shown at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.
For the foreseeable future, the new plug-in hybrid popemobile will be as close as the Pontiff gets to a plug-in car, even though the Vatican has an all-electric car.
That’s because the tiny electric car, while cute, can’t offer the level of security that Vatican specialists deem necessary to protect the Pope’s life in the event of an assassination attempt.
Will the addition of an electric car to the Papal fleet help promote electric cars?
Anything is possible. With 1.6 billion Catholics looking to the Vatican for guidance in their everyday lives, we think the electric car message has to rub off on some within the Church.