Fisker, not Tesla, will produce the first electric Popemobile

May 21, 2021, 11:35 PM UTC

The first electric vehicle made for the Pope will not be made by Elon Musk. 

Instead, Danish-American Henrik Fisker has announced that his Fisker Inc. will transform a Fisker Ocean SUV into the first all-electric papal transport.

Fisker is regarded as the mind behind James Bond’s BMW Z8, the Aston Martin DB9, and the Benetti Fisker superyacht, though his own efforts at making electric cars under his own name thus far have lacked financial, critical, and commercial success. 

The announcement came a day after Fisker and company co-founder Geeta Gupta-Fisker met with Pope Francis, who generally rides in a Ford Focus, during a private session in Vatican City.  

“I got inspired reading that Pope Francis is very considerate about the environment and the impact of climate change for future generations,” the designer said in a written statement about the meeting. Fisker teams are now working with the Vatican on vehicle requirements and specifications, a spokesman added in an email. 

The interior of the exhaust- and emissions-free vehicle will contain a variety of sustainable materials, including carpets made of recycled plastic bottles from the ocean. It will also include a large, modern, all-glass cupola, though a spokesman for the company did not say whether it would also manufacture the bulletproof glass that typically shrouds vehicles used by the Pope.

The custom-made Popemobile SUV will be delivered next year, while the everyday production version of the Ocean will start production on Nov. 17, 2022. So far, the company has received more than 16,000 reservations for the electric SUV, which starts at $37,499. 

A Fisker spokesperson declined to comment on the terms of the deal and the value of the Pope-ified Ocean—or whether the company would claim the SUV as a charitable donation. 

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