God Loves Green: Popemobile Goes Hybrid

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In brief: The Pope's next ride will be a hybrid, the Vatican has announced.

Vehicle in the news

Make/Model: Popemobile
Manufacturer: Mercedes-Benz

The word

The "Popemobile", a glass carriage made by Mercedes-Benz specifically for the Vatican so the Pope can parade without fear of being shot, has traditionally been a diesel-guzzling machine at 12.5mpg.

The Vatican underwent modeling and consideration for several alternative drive trains and ultimately settled on a hybrid. The new Popemobile, likely to be seen starting next year, will be the same Mercedes, but now outfitted with a gas-electric hybrid motor.

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A battery-electric was considered, but due to the weight of the car itself, was thrown out as a candidate due to limited range and speed for the cost.

And so ...

Mercedes has not announced numbers for the new car, but it will likely get in the vicinity of 18mpg of a parallel hybrid drivetrain is used.

Photo credits: Vatican