Holy moly, Pope Francis is going to get an all-electric Popemobile.
After an audience with the Pope, US-based car designer and entrepreneur Henrik Fisker announced he would modify a version of his new battery-powered Fisker Ocean SUV into a Popemobile.
The vehicle, due for delivery next year, will be fitted with the familiar glass cube-shaped cupola from which the Holy See can wave to onlookers.
Mr Fisker, who was born in Denmark, helped to design Aston Martins and BMWs for James Bond movies.
He has established a new business in California, Fisker Inc., to launch the Ocean, an all-electric vehicle which is claimed to hit 96.5 kilometres an hour (60mph) in 2.9 seconds, has a range of up to 560km and an interior made of 100 per cent vegan materials.
Mr Fisker said the vehicle would be the "first all-electric Popemobile".
However, other manufacturers have provided his Holiness with electric cars in the past including a Renault Kangoo in 2012.
The Pontiff has been driven in Japan in a hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai while Mercedes Benz has built hybrid Popemobiles.
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While at BMW Mr Fisker designed the retro-styled Z8 used by 007 in the 1999 James Bond movie The World is Not Enough but the vehicle came to a sticky end by being cut in half lengthways.
He was director of design at Aston Martin when the DB9 and V8 Vantage models were launched.
During his visit with the Pope, Mr Fisker was accompanied by his English wife and company co-founder Geeta Gupta-Fisker.
"I got inspired reading that Pope Francis is very considerate about the environment and the impact of climate change for future generations," Mr Fisker said.
"The interior of the Fisker Ocean papal transport will contain a variety of sustainable materials including carpets made from recycled plastic bottles from the ocean."
Production of the standard five-seater Fisker Ocean for mainstream customers is scheduled to begin towards the end of this year.
The company said it has received 16,000 reservations for the vehicle.
It will initially be built in Europe by specialist firm Magna.
Fisker Inc. has announced an agreement to deliver up to 700 right-hand drive Ocean SUVs to UK-based electric car subscription service Onto.
The car is being designed for both left-and right hand markets and prices are due to start at $US37,499.
Mr Fisker designed the world's first luxury plug-in sports sedan, the Fisker Karma, which had short-lived production in 2011-12.
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