Pope Benedict XVI has been dubbed “the green pope” forimplementing solar power at the Vaticanand making it the “greenest state in the world”, supporting environment causes and riding in the first green Popemobile – a Mercedes M-Class hybrid. Now His Holiness has been presented with two electric vehicles by Renault specifically designed to meet his mobility needs.
The first vehicle, which will be used when the Pope is traveling at his summer residence, is an all-electric version of the Popemobile that is based on the Kangoo Maxi Z.E. It measures 4.6 meters in length, 1.8 meters in width and it’s powered by a 44kW (60hp) electric motor and alithium-ion battery which ensures an average NEDC combined-cycle range of 170km.
The other vehicle is very similar to the first, although it’s blue and will be used by theCorps of Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City for the Pope’s security. The vehicles were presented to the Pope by Renault’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn during a visit to the Pope’s summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.
Apart from their electric engines, the vehicles contain features found in most Renault cars. They can seat up to four people and are fitted with two particularly comfortable separate seats at the rear. They also include an opening roof, removable rear side windows, hinged rear side doors and electrically folding door steps to facilitate ingress.
Recognised as particularly attentive to environmental issues, the Pope has frequently underlined the need for sustainable development to safeguard Creation. Speaking about the vehicles, Monsieur Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault Group said: “This donation to His Holiness is a means for Renault to reaffirm its strong and durable commitment to sustainable development and respect for the environment.”
Via BBC News