Papal hummers: Electric ‘i’ fleet for Vatican

Papal electric police vehicles fleet
DOWN THE COBBLES FROM THE VATICAN: One of the two BMW i3 battery cars to be used further for official transport. Image: BMW Italia

THE VATICAN, Italy – A small fleet of BMW electric cars and scooters has been received by the president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation by BMW Italy.

The fleet of electric vehicles, handed over by  BMW Italy’s president and CEO Sergio Solero, consists of two all-electric BMW i3 hatchbacks two BMW C Evolution scooters, each emblazoned with the logo and motto of the Jubilee of Mercy.

The cars and scooters have been used by the Vatican State’s Pontifical Council since the Jubilee of Mercy began on December 8 2015 for errands and transporting guests, officials, diplomatic delegations and pilgrims with minor disabilities.

Papal electric police vehicles fleet
CLEAN RIDES: This is one of the Papal electric police scooters on long loan to the Vatican from BMW. Image: BMW Italia

They will now continue in service until the Extraordinary Holy Year ends on November 20 2016.

Solero said at the handover: “BMW is at the forefront of developing future mobility concepts with the BMW i and iPerformance series of electric cars. We are particularly proud to place our most innovative products at the service of the Vatican State’s Pontifical Council as a contribution to the success of the jubilee.”

BMW’S FIRST BATTERY CARS

Archbishop Fisichella thanked BMW for “the generosity of feeling shown towards the organisational needs of the jubilee, our volunteers and, most of all, pilgrims with minor disabilities”.

The BMW i3, introduced in 2013 as BMW Group’s first all-electric series production model , ushered in a new era of electric travel, “a coherent and attractive solution to the challenges, present and future, of personal mobility in our great urban agglomerations”.

It claims to be the world’s first premium automobile designed from the outset for all-electric running with zero local emissions (such vehicles might eventually be rated for carbon emissions during their production, from mined ore to the electricity used to charge their batteries).

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Next from BMW i came the BMW iPerformance family, which includes a wide range of plug-in hybrids from city cars to high-performance sports cars.

The battery-powered C evolution Maxi Scooter, BMW says, “sets new technological standards and features great versatility”.

Its high-voltage, high-capacity (eight kiloWatt hours), battery gives it enough charge for trips of up to 100km.

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