When Pope Benedict XVI considered a solar-powered electric Popemobile last year, his advisors suggested a hybrid, likely due to its ability to power out of potentially life threatening situations. As such, Pope Benedict will now be getting his wish of a green Popemobile thanks to Mercedes-Benz. The German automaker will be lending its M-Class hybrid, which will be the first green Popemobile and will also be part of a fleet of six or seven armored cars available for the Vatican.
The green Popemobile will be fitted with lithium-ion batteries and is capable of running almost 20 miles solely on electricity. Pope Benedict, better known throughout Europe as the "green pope" due to his loyal support of environmental causes. He has even pushed green issues for more sustainable economic development with renewable energy. The Pope has also spoken to many world leaders regarding these issues and how beneficial going green can be on a universal scale.
Mercedes-Benz has supplied the Vatican with Popemobiles for over 80 years. The Vatican's current fleet includes a 2002 M430, specifically built for John Paul II, in addition to a 2007 G500 cabriolet and a 2008 G500 hardtop tailored for Benedict.