Sun sets on solar 'popemobile' plan: Too slow, Vatican says
Pope Benedict XVI wanted to extend the solar-power innovations at the Vatican to replacing his fortified glass-topped popemobile with a "green machine." And in December, Green House blogger Wendy Koch wrote about how a German solar company thought it wold be a breeze to get one up to speed.
But the plan has been overpowered by the need for a burst of backup power in case of an emergency, says Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia. So Mercedes- Benz, which is going to put its current, aging SUV-body popemobiles to pasture, is prepping a hybrid instead. Palmo describes it as
... an environmentally friendly version of the iconic papal car: a hybrid variation on its M Class SUV that'll be able to run some 16 miles (30km) emission-free thanks to a rechargeable lithium-ion battery....