These days, more people are choosing to go green by finding and using more environmentally friendly products. Pope Benedict XVI is no exception.
What is the world coming to when even the Pope is turning green? Good things that’s for sure!
The Pope has been nick-named the “Green Pope” because of his concern for environmental issues.
Pope Benedict has put down to paper his desire to see people respond to the need to protect God’s creation.
He has also addressed the issue in his annual peace messages and on foreign trips. As Pope, Benedict has overseen the Vatican in green movement efforts such as installing photovoltaic cells in the main auditorium and joining reforestation projects in an attempt to offset carbon dioxide emissions. The Vatican, in a bold move, recently put solar panels on its roof and installed a solar cooling unit in its main cafeteria.
And in September this year (2012)The Pope was presented with his first electric car; a customized, white Renault Kangoo for use at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.
The Renault company also presented a blue version for the Vatican gendarms to use around Vatican City.
Recently the Pope was seen in his new vehicle, traveling from his helipad at Castel Gandolfo through his gardens back to his palazzo. Although the Pope’s new electric car has the papal seal on its doors, it isn’t an official Popemobile. The Kangoo is designed for use only inside the Vatican territory at Castel Gandolfo. For trips outside of the Vatican, he uses the Popemobile specially fitted with security features and designed for the pope by Mercedes-Benz.
About the Renault Kangoo
There are two versions of the electric Renault: the Kangoo Z.E. and the Kangoo Maxi Z.E. They feature the same practical functions as their internal combustion-engined counterparts (the Kangoo and Kangoo Maxi).
1. The Kangoo Z.E.
The Kangoo Z.E. is both comfortable and practical. It has a 22kWh battery and is powered by a 44kW electric motor which boasts 90 percent energy efficiency. This is far better than the 25 percent energy efficiency typical of internal combustion engines which have higher energy losses. The motor is also very quiet, while still getting up to 10,500 rpm. It has a carrying capacity of 3 to 3.5 cubic meters.
2. The Kangoo Maxi Z.E.
The Kangoo Maxi Z.E. is an extended version of the Kangoo Z.E. It will be available in two forms: a two-seater and a five-seater. The Kangoo Maxi Z.E. has more carrying capacity (up to 4.6 cubic meters) than the Kangoo Z.E. It has a combined cycle-range of up to 170 km.
Both models have dashboard displays that keep the driver informed as to battery charge and range of operation. It also has an ‘Econo’-meter, which shows the energy consumption use. There are three color coded levels: light blue for normal energy usage, dark blue for optimal energy usage, and red for excessive energy usage. Prices for the Kangoo start at 15,900 euros ($20,000).
Other Types of Alternative Fuel Cars
The electric car is just one type of alternative fuel car. Other alternative fuel cars include:
- natural gas vehicles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_gas_vehicle)
- biofuels, ( although Watchdog produced a report to suggest that biofuel usage could have adverse effects on rainforests and lead to even higher green house gas emmissions)
- and hydrogen.
More companies are finding ways to make products such as cars more environmentally friendly.
Now thats good news for us all.. and The Pope should be well pleased too!
Meg Jones enjoys writing about alternative fuels, as well as ideas, for a company that specializes in Utah CNG cars for clients who are tired of the typical fuel problems associated with the changing times.