By Luca Marcolivio
VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 6, 2012 (Zenit.org).- On Wednesday the Holy Father received two Renault battery-powered vehicles, made expressly for the Pontiff and the staff at his service. The gift was explained during a press conference held in the Marconi Room of Vatican Radio.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, recalled some of the salient passages about the commitment of the Catholic Church to care for the environment and renewable energy. In his encyclical “Caritas in Veritate,” Benedict XVI spoke about the environment and also addressed the topic in his 2010 World Day of Peace Message, “If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation.”
“The Holy See already has other electric cars. In particular, the Holy Father made use of one during his pastoral visit to Venice and Arezzo, and on the occasion of last Ash Wednesday, from Sant’ Anselmo to Santa Sabina. Moreover, Paul VI Hall is equipped with photovoltaic panels,” Father Lombardi commented.
Explaining the details of the vehicles, the president of Renault-Italy, Jacques Bousquet, said they have entirely electric motors, made on the Kangoo Maxi Z.E. model, developed in collaboration with the Gruau car-body designer.
One of them is white, for the Pope, and the other is blue, for the use of the Vatican gendarmerie. They were presented to Benedict XVI by the president-director general of the Renault Group, Carlos Ghosn, in the course of a visit to the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo.
“With this gift to His Holiness, Renault renews its strong and continuous commitment to sustainable development and respect of the environment,” said Carlos Ghosn.
The white car for the Pope’s use has the papal coat of arms on both front doors and is 4.6 meters in length and 1.8 meters in width, and can run for around 170 before being recharged.