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RENAULT MAKES DONATION OF AN EXCLUSIVE ALL-ELECTRIC VEHICLE TO POPE BENEDICT XVI By Brian Foley

• French carmaker Renault has presented His Holiness Benedict XVI with an electric vehicle designed and built especially to meet the Pope’s mobility needs.

• The vehicle is based on Kangoo Maxi Z.E. and was developed in association with the French coachbuilder Gruau. Renault also donated a second electric vehicle to the Corps of Gendarmerie of Vatican City.

• The vehicles were presented to the Pope by the Renault Group’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn at the Holy Father’s summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

The first vehicle, for use when the Pope is travelling at his summer residence, is white with the Papal coat of arms depicted on the doors. It is an ecological, sustainable-development version of the Popemobile. Based on Kangoo Maxi Z.E., it measures 4.6 metres in length and 1.8 metres in width. It is powered by a 44kW (60hp) electric motor and a lithium-ion battery which ensures an average NEDC combined-cycle range of 170km.

The design of the other vehicle is very similar to that of the first, although its blue livery features a white and yellow stripe along each flank. It is for use by the Corps of Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City for the Pope’s security.

The two cars were converted in association with the French constructor-coachbuilder Gruau. These special, exclusive vehicles can seat up to four people and are fitted with two particularly comfortable separate seats in the rear. Other specific solutions include an opening roof, removable rear side windows, hinged rear side doors and electrically folding door steps to facilitate ingress.

The two vehicles see Renault put its experience as automobile manufacturer and leader of the electric vehicle sector at the service of the sustainable development message of the Vatican and His Holiness Benedict XVI. Recognised as particularly attentive to environmental issues, the Pope has frequently underlined the need for sustainable development to safeguard Creation.

“This donation to His Holiness is a means for Renault to reaffirm its strong and durable commitment to sustainable development and respect for the environment,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault Group.