The electric hatchback is part of an effort by Vatican City to be CO2-production free.
Pope Francis lives an austere life, preferring to ride in a Renault 4 or Fiat 500L than opulent luxury vehicles. His Holiness now has a new vehicle to match his ascetic preferences because Opel is giving him an Ampera-e – in white naturally. The gift furthers Vatican City’s goal to be CO2-production free by switching to renewable energy and electric vehicles.
“We are proud that we as Opel can contribute to the ambitious goals of the Vatican City. Our new Ampera-e will make electric mobility feasible for everyday use without any compromises,” said Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann.
The Ampera-e should by a major upgrade over the Pope’s current ride – a 1984 Renault 4 with 190,000 miles on it. He received the car as a gift from an Italian priest in 2013. Pope Francis previously used one of the basic hatchbacks when he lived in his native Argentina. At just 110 acres (44 hectares), Vatican City is small enough that the Pope doesn't need a big vehicle to get around.
The Ampera-e is the European version of the Chevrolet Bolt. In the New European Driving Cycle, the electric hatchback has a range of 323 miles (520 kilometers). In comparison, the Environmental Protection Agency’s more stringent evaluation rates the Bolt as going 238 miles on a charge. The model features an electric motor with 204 horsepower (150 kilowatts) and 266 pound-feet (360 Newton-meters) of torque. It’s powerful enough to accelerate the EV to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 7.3 seconds.
Opel launched the Ampera-e first in EV-crazy Norway. Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Switzerland were the next countries to get it. The Chevy version won North American Car of the Year honors earlier this year.