Having already established a reputation as the Pope who takes the bus, Pope Francis will take another step towards cementing his image as the people’s pontiff when he takes delivery of the first ever pedal-powered Popemobile, claims the Environmental Transport Association, the organisation which has previously designed a spoof bike for James Bond.
ETA said the armour-plated pedal-powered limousine would have a price-tag of £175,000, about half the amount of the Pontiff’s current car. In contrast to the current 5-litre V8 petrol-engined Popemobile, the pedal-powered version is silent and has zero emissions (although that does depend on the lunch fed to the pedalling priest).
The new, greener Popemobile has:
• 8mm bullet-proof Plexiglass windows
• Solar panels on roof power air conditioning and trickle charge main battery
• Operational speed 6mph with emergency power train boost (top speed 38mph)
• Low-voltage spotlights in floor and roof compartment to illuminate His Holiness
• Blast-proof body panels constructed from lightweight titanium and ceramic composite
• Built-in oxygen supply
ETA's Yannick Read, said: “Cycling is the great leveller – a means of transport as serene as it is practical and an entirely appropriate way for a Pope to travel. The green-credentials of the vehicle dovetail perfectly with Pope Francis’s image as the people’s pontiff.”