Vatican Receives Papal Kangoo EV

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Renault donates pair of electric minivans to the Pope at his summer residence.

What kind of car does the Pope drive? Well, like any other world leader, he doesn't drive himself much of anywhere. But as the spiritual conduit of one of the world's largest religions - and head of a little country known as the Vatican - he can get his ringed hands on just about any car he wants. In an apparent effort to keep up with the times, Benedict XVI has repeatedly expressed his desire to have an electric car at his disposal. Renault, it would seem, was only too happy to oblige.

The car which the French automaker has provided His Holiness is a Kangoo Maxi ZE. Of course this isn't your bog-standard utilitarian euro-minivan, as Renault has outfitted the electric vehicle specifically for the religious leader. Presented to the Pope at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo by Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, the papal Kangoo is decked out in white with Pope Benedict XVI's own coat of arms on the door. Coachbuilder Gruau also outfitted the cabin with four individual bucket seats, an opening roof, removable rear windows, hinged doors (instead of sliding ones) and an electrically folding step to aid the Holy Father's ingress and egress.

Moving those features along is a 60-horsepower electric motor with a lithium-ion battery pack with a range of 170 kilometers. A second such vehicle was also furnished for the papal bodyguards at the Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City.

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