Even the Pope switches to electric: here is the new popemobile

Even the Pope switches to electric: here is the new popemobile

Even the Pope switches to electric

Now we finally have the answer to the question "who will ever buy the new electric Fisker?" Simple, the Pope. Fisker is ready to develop the greenest popemobile in history after years of tradition with the Mercedes Benz brand; Henrik Fisker, the manufacturer's number one, had the honor of being received by Pope Francis and presented the project on the occasion.

Made exclusively for the Pope, the new Fisker will use that of the SUV as a base Ocean with some modifications to accommodate the classic glass dome intended for the Pope. Little information on this, but considering the starting platform, we expect a battery of over 80 kWh capable of guaranteeing an average range of about 500 km.

Not only will the car be green, but the interior will also be made of sustainable materials, thus meeting the wishes of the Pope, who is always very attentive when it comes to environmental problems and climate change. For example, the mats will be constructed using recycled plastic that comes from bottles collected in the ocean.

An armor plating required to ensure a high standard of safety is expected, although no details have been disclosed in this regard at the moment. . Fisker, at present, is not only working on the Ocean SUV but also on the ambitious expansion plan launched together with Foxconn. The desire of the American manufacturer is to get to produce an extremely cheap electric, close to 30 thousand dollars, capable of countering Tesla's future Model 2.

When will the electric popemobile arrive? If the rumors were to be confirmed, the specimen could arrive in the Vatican City in the course of 2022: we just have to wait. With the Pope in electric, we ask ourselves when our political class will also renew the car fleet by finally switching to electric, giving a clear example to the entire population. In any case, it is not the first time that we have found the Pope close to such a hot topic; in the past, during one of his apostolic journeys to Japan, he had received a free Toyota Mirai powered by hydrogen.

It was an honor to have a private audience with Pope Francis @Pontifex. He is so conscience about our responsibility towards the environment & for our generations to come! Looking forward to make the 1st ALL electric Popemobile. #Fisker #love #EVs #PopeFrancis #vatican pic.twitter.com/0zdnXs6Bpo

- Henrik Fisker (@henrikfisker) May 21, 2021

Pope Francis to get all-electric popemobile from EV startup Fisker

a car parked on the side of a road © Provided by NBC News

Pope Francis, who has frequently spoken out on environmental issues, will trade in his popemobile for a new model running entirely on battery power.

The pontiff met Thursday with Henrik Fisker and Geeta Gupta-Fisker, founders of the California-based electric car startup Fisker, who provided him with renderings of the vehicle they plan to deliver during the fourth quarter of next year. It will be based on the Fisker Ocean SUV the company plans to put in production in 2022.

'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.

a couple of people that are talking to each other: Fisker co-founders, Henrik Fisker and Geeta Gupta-Fisker, during a private audience with Pope Francis in Vatican City on Thursday. (Fisker) © Fisker Fisker co-founders, Henrik Fisker and Geeta Gupta-Fisker, during a private audience with Pope Francis in Vatican City on Thursday. (Fisker)

The connection to the pope, Fisker told NBC News by email, was made through “a mutual friend [who] arranged the meeting.”

This is the second zero-emission vehicle that the Argentine-born pope will receive. In November, Japanese automaker Toyota delivered a specially customized version of its Mirai fuel-cell vehicle. It’s currently one of three hydrogen-powered vehicles on the market. The Toyota popemobile has not seen extensive use, however, largely due to the challenges of finding a readily accessible source of the lightweight gas during the pontiff’s travels.

Traditionally, popes have traveled in vehicles provided to the Holy See by Mercedes-Benz, with the first presented to Pope Pius XI in 1930. Recent models have included transparent compartments where the pope can stand up while also keeping him safe. That became essential following an assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in May 1981 in St. Peter’s Square.

For his part, the current pope has maintained a low profile when it comes to the vehicles he travels in, preferring to use Fords, Jeeps and Fiats.

Considering the environmentally friendly nature of the Fisker product, and the fact that Francis met with the company founders, there’s a good chance it will find more use than Toyota’s popemobile once it is delivered.

The design is based on the Ocean, the first product Fisker plans to bring to market. Currently, it is set to go into production at a factory in Austria on Nov. 17.

Several configurations will be offered to the public, including one capable of running 300 miles between charges. A base model with more limited range is expected to come in at $37,499 in the United States before applying the current $7,500 in federal tax credits.

Fisker founder and CEO Henrik Fisker has promised to offer an array of options for the retail model. The version earmarked for Pope Francis, however, will have at least one feature not available to the public: a unique, hand-built cupola in which he will be able to stand and wave to the public during his travels.

The bulletproof glass canopy, Fisker said, will be hidden within the SUV’s roof until needed by the pope. It will then rise up with the touch of a button. He declined to offer other details, such as whether the electric popemobile will use the high-performance powertrain the company is developing for the Ocean SUV. That system will be capable of launching from 0 to 60 in around 3 seconds. But it will have a few other “special details and features,” Fisker said.

What may prove more important while on the road will be the Ocean’s quick-charge capability. The retail version will be able to get an 80 percent battery top-off in less than 30 minutes, according to the automaker.

Fisker told NBC News that for the green-minded pope himself, the battery drive system is only part of the appeal of the modified SUV. While some competitors likely will quibble with his claim that the Ocean is “the most sustainable vehicle in the world,” it does forgo traditional luxury materials like leather in favor of alternatives derived from recycled soft-drink bottles and even plastics reclaimed from the ocean.

One of the highlights of the project was meeting with Francis, Fisker said, noting that “the Pope even signed the sketch I did of the Ocean in a Italian café nearby, prior to the private meeting.”

The Fisker founders probably could use a little intervention from up high. They will be launching their new company at a time when the electric car market is expected to see significant growth — but also a flood of new products from traditional manufacturers like Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen, as well as upstart brands like Tesla, Rivian, Lordstown Motors and others.

Henrik Fisker was a pioneer in the field, bringing a plug-in hybrid to market a decade ago. But Fisker Automotive quickly went bankrupt, its assets sold to a Chinese company.

The Danish-born entrepreneur started out as a designer, earning a solid reputation for his work on less environmentally friendly products like the Aston Martin DB9 and the BMW Z8.