Hybrid Mercedes eyed as next popemobile

July 11, 2011

Pope Benedict will travel in greener style in the future when a project for a new hybrid popemobile gets off the drawing board and on to the road, a papal spokesman said.

Mercedes-Benz is making plans for an energy-saving papal vehicle that could be used at home or abroad, said Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office.

Vatican officials earlier said the pope, who has said he is committed to saving energy at the Vatican, would welcome an electric vehicle as a symbol of his support for energy sustainability.

The new vehicle will not be completed in time for the pope's Sept. 22-25 trip to Germany, Lombardi said.