Renault has outmaneuvered partner Daimler, which didn’t have a prayer. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn handed Pope Benedict XVI (nee Joseph Aloysius Ratzinger) a new, fully sustainable electric popemobile.
It is unclear whether the public will see an emission-free pope. According to a Renault press release, the holy EV is for use when the Pope is travelling at his summer residence Castel Gandolfo.
The first one is white with the Papal coat of arms depicted on the doors. Based on the Kangoo Maxi Z.E., it measures 4.6 meters in length and 1.8 meters in width. It is powered by a 44kW (60hp) electric motor and a lithium-ion battery which is good for an average NEDC combined-cycle range of 170km.
The design of the other vehicle is very similar to that of the first, although its blue livery features a white and yellow stripe along each flank. It is for use by the Corps of Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City for the Pope’s security.
The two cars were converted by the French coachbuilder Gruau.
The pope usually travels in a white popemobile, which is based on the Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Possibly he keeps it for pangs of range anxiety. But with a direct line to God …