After meeting with the pontiff, the founders of the company, Francesco D’Antini and Antonio Rainone, presented the car during a ceremony with Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi.
The event included a blessing of the car and a prayer to St. Christopher, the patron of travelers, that it would always be driven safely.
The NWG Zero was fitted with a Vatican City State license plate and features an electric motor that can be recharged by connecting to any regular outlet. It costs around $2.50 to recharge its battery.
“All believers should respect creation as a great gift from God, as the environment in which they live and which they should leave as an inheritance to the next generations, so that all can enjoy its fruits and live in peace together with the Lord’s other creatures,” Fr. Lombardi told CNA.
“We should be responsible for administering a great treasure that we have been given.”
Fr. Lombardi also said the Pope “invites all, not only believers, to have this positive relationship with creation and to also see man as the most important creation in creation, and therefore not to separate care for the environment from care for man.”
The Vatican spokesman noted that this was not the first environmental-friendly endeavor undertaken by the Holy See.
“The Vatican naturally should carry out all of its activity in a coherent way that respects creation. These energy-saving structures are slowly being developed, with renewable energy,” he added.
Since 2008 the Vatican has been using solar panels installed on the roof of the Paul VI Hall to create electricity.
On numerous occasions Benedict XVI has called on developed countries to coexist with the environment in an ethical way and to “cooperate responsibly for the sake of the planet’s future so that the poor nations are not the ones that have to pay the biggest price for climate change.”
The NWG auto company has given Pope Benedict XVI a gift for his consistent concern for the environment – the Vatican’s first electric-powered vehicle.