December 13, 2010

Pope Benedict would welcome having an electric popemobile as a further sign of his commitment to protecting natural resources and safeguarding the earth, said a top Vatican official.

Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the commission governing Vatican City State, said if a sponsor offered the pope an electric-powered vehicle that "was in working order, efficient and suitable, why not?

It would be a sign of his environmental concern."

The cardinal and others spoke during a Vatican news conference Dec. 1 to present a new book, The Energy of the Sun in the Vatican, about the Vatican's solar power initiatives.

Some 305 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, or CO2, have been avoided because of the Vatican's solar installations, said a Vatican press release Dec. 1.

Pier Carlo Cuscianna, director of technical services for Vatican City, told reporters that plans to supply Vatican City with a fleet of electric vehicles were in a "well-advanced" stage.