Pope Francis Receives Opel Ampera-e, Because Why Not?

The Pope isn’t just an old fellow dressed in white and with a wise appearance. He’s the leader of the Catholic Church, as well as the head honcho of the world’s smallest state: the Vatican. It’s rather clear, then, that being the pontiff does have its quirks.
Pope Receives Opel Ampera-e: First Step Towards CO2 Free Vatican 11 photos
Photo: Opel
2017 Opel Ampera-e (price in Norway)2017 Opel Ampera-e (configurator in Norway)2017 Opel Ampera-e2017 Opel Ampera-e2017 Opel Ampera-e2017 Opel Ampera-e2017 Opel Ampera-e2017 Opel Ampera-e2017 Opel Ampera-e2017 Opel Ampera-e
A walled enclave located within Rome, the absolute monarchy spans over an area of 110 acres and is home to something like 1,000 residents as per the most recent census. Therefore, Vatican City is the prime candidate for one of the most highly-anticipated experiments in the eco-friendly world. More to the point, the Vatican plans to become the first CO2-free country on the planet thanks to renewable energy.

One step toward this ambitious goal comes courtesy of German automaker Opel, which decided to give an Ampera-e to Pope Francis. The ceremony took place on the sidelines of the “Laudato Sì: the Sustainability of Communication and Innovation” conference, with CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann handing over the car’s keys personally.

“We are proud that we as Opel can contribute to the ambitious goals of the Vatican City,” declared the head honcho of the Russelsheim-based company that was recently acquired from General Motors by Groupe PSA. “Our new Ampera-e will make electric mobility feasible for everyday use without any compromises,” Mr. Neumann concluded.

Needless to say, the Vatican is so small that an NEDC range of 520 kilometers (323 miles) seems a bit overkill. And if the pontiff would wake up one morning with the urge to max out the Ampera-e, the Vatican doesn’t have a stretch of road long enough for the compact electric vehicle to hit its top speed (150 km/h or just about 93 mph).

The European counterpart of the Chevrolet Bolt in the United States, the Ampera-e is an interesting addition to the European landscape. Not only does it boast more range than its nearest rival, but the little bugger also happens to be a much more interesting proposition than the Ampera it indirectly replaces.

As a brief refresher, the Volt-based Ampera was phased out because sales were worsening with each and every month. With the Pope's blessing, here's hope the Ampera-e will be a more successful product than the Ampera.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Mircea Panait
Mircea Panait profile photo

After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories