The absurdity of a “green” Popemobile

The only truly “green” Popemobile

by Doug Lawrence

How much time, effort and money should be wasted, merely to make a political point?

The Popemobile travels no more than an estimated 200-300 total miles per year. How much pollution and how many tons of carbon could it possibly put out?

A modified electric golf cart with a few extra batteries could get the job done … or even a natural gas or propane powered, conventional automobile platform.

So why all the commotion?

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New “green” transport for Pope Benedict

Original “green” papal transport
was obviously ahead of its time

The Vatican reportedly will replace the current Popemobile, based on the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, with a plug-in hybrid also based on the M-Class platform. As such, and contrary to the pope’s original wishes, the vehicle will not draw energy from celestial bodies.

Instead, the vehicle’s powertrain is said to be similar to that of the Mercedes Vision S500 plug-in hybrid concept shown at the 2009 Frankfurt auto show, which was powered by a 10-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, a 60-horsepower electric motor and a V-6 gasoline engine. In Frankfurt, Mercedes claimed the Vision would have a range of up to 18.5 miles on electric power alone.

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