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Fisker Inc., the EV startup-turned publicly traded company, is working on a modified version of its all-electric Ocean SUV for Pope Francis.

The company said Friday that it plans to deliver to the Vatican late next year a Popemobile based on its upcoming Fisker Ocean SUV. An initial agreement was reached during a private meeting Thursday between Pope Francis and Fisker co-founders Henrik Fisker and Dr. Geeta Gupta-Fisker. Henrik Fisker showed a number of sketches, including one that Pope Francis signed. There aren’t many details about this new Popemobile, although a rendering of the modified Fisker Ocean SUV shows an all-glass cupola. 

The agreement marks more than 50 years of automakers working with the Vatican to develop and deliver vehicles to shuttle the Holy See. Ford, which created a version of a 1964 Lehmann-Peterson, was used by Pope Paul VI in his 1965 New York City visit. The term Popemobile was popularized until Pope John Paul II’s tenure. Automakers including Dacia, Stellantis’ Fiat and Jeep brands, Mercedes-Benz and Renault have all supplied vehicles to various pontiffs. Pope Francis has been known to use a Ford Focus for drives 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,” says Henrik Fisker. “The interior of the Fisker Ocean papal transport will contain a variety of sustainable materials, including carpets made from recycled plastic bottles from the ocean.”

Fisker is aiming to start production of its Ocean SUV, which will have a base price of $37,499, on November 17, 2022. The Popemobile version is expected around the same time, although a specific date was not shared.

This post was first published on: TechCrunch