US-based EV start-up Fisker Inc has announced that it will develop the first all-electric vehicle for the Pope, revealed to the world after company co-founders Henrik Fisker and Dr. Geeta Gupta-Fisker met with Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican City.
In 2002, Pope John II implored the media to stop using the term “popemobile” due to the fact that he felt it was “undignified”, but the name has nevertheless stuck for the purpose-built vehicles that provide the head of the Roman Catholic Church both access to the public and safety from danger.
The popemobile has been made by German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz, which claims to have been “providing popemobiles since 1930” ever since the company provided Pope Pius XI a Mercedes-Benz Nürburg 460 as a present from Daimler-Benz AG.
Fisker’s proposed all-electric popemobile will therefore need to meet the very specific needs of the Holy See, which include armoured and use bulletproof glass.
The proposed all-electric popemobile will be based on the Fisker Ocean SUV, and will benefit from the lack of an internal combustion engine, removing harmful emissions from those thronging around the Pope as well as providing a spacious interior.
As can be seen in the mock-up photo provided by Fisker, the popemobile would include a large and modern all-glass cupola to provide the Pope unrestricted sight-lines to the public.
“I got inspired reading that Pope Francis is very considerate about the environment and the impact of climate change for future generations,” said Henrik Fisker. “The interior of the Fisker Ocean papal transport will contain a variety of sustainable materials, including carpets made from recycled plastic bottles from the ocean.”
Fisker plans to deliver on this proposed all-electric popemobile next year, with production on the Fisker Ocean expected to begin on the very specific November 17, 2022. More than 16,000 reservations for the Fisker Ocean have already been made, which starts at $US37,499 in the US.