If cleanliness is next to godliness, then ecology must be right there beside it, as this week the Pope took possession of a new electric vehicle, built specially for his Holiness by Renault.
The new Popemobile is based on the Kangoo Max Z.E., an electric van-type vehicle not sold in the U.S. The drive system, composed of a 44-kilowatt electric motor and 22 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack, is similar to that used in the Nissan Leaf. The Pope will be able to ride for about 110 miles on a charge.
Instead of the simple rear bench or cargo area in the rear of a standard Renualt Kangoo, the Pope's version gets two big, plush, leather covered seats. There appears to be plenty of legroom and easy access through rear hinged side doors, but no rear seat entertainment system. White paint with Vatican livery coats the exterior.
When the Pope goes on tour, don't expect to see the Pope waving out the window of this new Popemobile. It will only be used at the Pope's summer residence, in the Italian town of Castel Gandolfo.