Benedict May Get Hybrid Popemobile

Mercedes working on turning his ride green
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 22, 2011 3:10 PM CDT
Benedict May Get Hybrid Popemobile
Pope Benedict XVI arrives on his popemobile to celebrate a mass in Seravalle's stadium, San Marino, Sunday, June 19, 2011.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

The next popemobile could be green. Mercedes-Benz is studying a hybrid that would replace the current Mercedes used when the pope travels abroad, says the Vatican. However, Pope Benedict's new ride won't be ready until next year at the earliest, not in time for his upcoming trip to his native Germany in September. Mercedes would not comment on the report.

When he's outside the Vatican, Benedict usually rides in a modified white vehicle outfitted with bulletproof windows and an elevated chair so he can wave to crowds. Benedict has made conserving resources an important concern of his papacy, even installing solar panels on the roof of the papal audience hall at the Vatican. (Click to read about delays to fit solar panels on another world-famous building: the White House.)

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