The Pope is getting a new popemobile. It’s an all-electric sport utility vehicle with an all-glass dome to give crowds a better opportunity to see the pontiff.
Henrik Fisker and Geeta Gupta-Fisker, co-founders of the Fisker, the American electric startup carmaker, presented the design of the new transporter to Pope Francis in a private meeting May 20.
The duo presented the Vatican with a concept of a modified Fisker Ocean. The Pope will get his new one-of-a-kind wheels next year.
“I got inspired reading that Pope Francis is very considerate about the environment and the impact of climate change for future generations,” Henrik Fisker said in a statement. “The interior of the vehicle will contain a variety of sustainable materials, including carpets made from recycled plastic bottles from the ocean.”
Fisker said it has received more than 16,000 orders for the Ocean, with production slated to begin on November 17.
Popemobile from lots of carmakers
Numerous manufacturers have given various Popes vehicles, including Fiat, Ford, Jeep, Lamborghini and Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-Benz has automobile relationship with The Vatican since 1930. The carmaker developed the first popemobile with a transparent superstructure for the visit of Pope John Paul II to Germany in 1980.
Regardless of manufacturer or design, “popemobile” is the name given to custom-built vehicles used to transport the Pope at public appearances. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the vehicles are designed to protect the pontiff while allowing him to be visible to crowds.