Renault has presented the Vatican with two electric vehicles made especially to meet the mobility needs of the Pope. The vehicles were handed over to His Holiness Benedict XVI by Renault’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Carlos Ghosn, during a visit to the Pope’s summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.
The first vehicle, for use when the Pope is travelling at his summer residence, is white with the Papal coat of arms depicted on the doors. It is an ecological, sustainable-development version of the Popemobile. Based on Kangoo Maxi Z.E., it measures 4.6 meters in length and 1.8 meters in width. It is powered by a 44 kW (60 hp) electric motor and a lithium-ion battery which ensures an average NEDC combined-cycle range of 170 km.
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 in association with the French constructor-coachbuilder Gruau. These special, exclusive vehicles can seat up to four people and are fitted with two particularly comfortable separate seats in the rear. Other specific solutions include an opening roof, removable rear side windows, hinged rear side doors and electrically folding door steps to facilitate ingress.
The two vehicles see Renault put its experience as automobile manufacturer and leader of the electric vehicle sector at the service of the sustainable development message of the Vatican and His Holiness Benedict XVI. Recognized as particularly attentive to environmental issues, the Pope has frequently underlined the need for sustainable development to safeguard Creation.
“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,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault Group.
So the world now has its first ‘plug-in’ Pope!