Pedal-powered Popemobile for the people’s pontiff

Having already established a reputation as the Pope who takes the bus, Pope Francis will take another step towards cementing his image as the people’s pontiff when he takes delivery of the first ever pedal-powered Popemobile.

Pedal-powered Popemobile

The entirely carbon-neutral, pedal-powered Popemobile was originally commissioned by the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) after the previous pontiff, Pope Benedict, expressed his desire for a green, all-electric vehicle.

It is expected that the armour-plated pedal-powered limousine – the first of its kind in the world – will be ready for delivery later this summer.

With a price tag of £175,000, the pedal-powered Popemobile may cost only half the amount of the Pontiff’s current car, but it boasts just as impressive a specification. And in contrast to the current 5-litre V8 petrol-engined Popemobile, the pedal-powered version is silent and has zero emissions.

Pedal-powered Popemobile specifications

• 8mm bullet-proof Plexiglass windows
• Solar panels on roof power air conditioning and trickle charge main battery
• Operational speed 6mph with emergency power train boost (top speed 38mph)
• Low-voltage spotlights in floor and roof compartment to illuminate His Holiness
• Blast-proof body panels constructed from lightweight titanium and ceramic composite
• Built-in oxygen supply

“Cycling is the great leveller”

Designer of the pedal-powered Popemobile, Yannick Read, said: “Cycling is the great leveller – a means of transport as serene as it is practical and an entirely appropriate way for a Pope to travel. The green-credentials of the vehicle dovetail perfectly with Pope Francis’s image as the people’s pontiff.”

infographic of pedal-powered popemobile

The pedal-powered Popemobile has an operating speed no different from the pontiff’s current Mercedes; 6mph allows crowds the best opportunity of catching a glimpse of His Holiness. In an emergency, a powerful 1.5kW electric motor whisks the pedal-powered Popemobile away from trouble at almost 40mph.

Previous gas-guzzling Popemobiles were based on a Mercedes ML430 V8, GMS Sierra 6.0 V8, Mercedes G-Glass 5-litre V8, Leyland Motors 24-ton lorry and a Mercedes 600 Pullman Landaulet 6.3 V8 among others.


  1. Mary



    I hope he uses it.


  2. AlanW


    What about some protection for the humble pedalist?

  3. bob saynor


    Is this an April fools?

  4. Stocko


    Has somebody at ETA jumped the gun and published this early? Monday is April First.

  5. Benedict


    Hmmm…April Fool maybe?

  6. Tony


    Surely, this is an early April Fools Joke?

  7. Beverly McFarlane


    Wouldn’t this be wonderful, if true. I have been trying to work out whether it would be considered an honour to pedal it.

  8. eddie


    I feel sure he will use it, it fits so well with the sort of person he is

  9. Rebecca Collings


    Love it, happy peddling to the Pontiff’s chauffeur.

  10. darren


    nice idea, bit confused why someone who should be so close to god is so worried about meeting him though, with all the bombproof rubbish, especially when the guy on the front is obviously expendable .
    why is it these people are placed on pedestals and worshiped he is only a man who spent all his life living off others same as all the other religious bodies, he may be absolutely lovely but so was my grandad.
    £175’000 how many does that vaccinate or feed ?

  11. calebcrawford


    I would prefer to see this with possibly three or four people pedaling the pope

  12. David


    Having only one man pedalling convinces me that it is an April Fool. All that weight would require at least two, if only to have a back up.

  13. peter


    What darren said; spot on!

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