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The Fisker Ocean crossover EV made quite a wave at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week for its production debut. With its affordable price, impressive specs, and eco-friendly credentials, the Ocean could be a hot-selling model for electric vehicle customers. One of these customers will be Pope Francis, for Fisker will build him an electric Fisker Ocean Popemobile.

Pope Francis met with the founders of Fisker about an Ocean Popemobile

Pope Francis rides in an electric Fisker Ocean Popemobile on a mountain road
Rendered image of Pope Francis in Fisker Ocean Popemobile | Fisker

While these photoshopped images look like something you’d see in a fake article from The Onion, the plans to build a Fisker Ocean Popemobile are real. Earlier this year, Pope Francis met with Henrik Fisker and Geeta Gupta-Fisker, the founders of EV startup Fisker, in Vatican City. 

They discussed producing a modified version of the Ocean crossover EV that the Pope could use for his papal car. In a conversation with NBC News, Fisker said that the “connection to the Pope was made through a mutual friend [who] arranged the meeting.”

EV eco-friendly style with a Fisker Ocean Popemobile

Pope Francis sitting inside a Fisker Ocean Popemobile crossover EV
Rendered image of Pope Francis in Fisker Ocean Popemobile | Fisker

Despite the ridiculousness of the photoshopped images, a Fisker Ocean Popemobile makes perfect sense. Protecting the environment is one of the major platforms of Pope Francis. Also, he is a leading voice on the need to take action on climate change. As noted by Henrik Fisker in a statement, “I got inspired reading that Pope Francis is very considerate about the environment and the impact of climate change for future generations.”

In addition to its zero-emission electric powertrain, the Fisker Ocean features materials made from recycled fishing nets and other plastics. Also, Fisker gave the Ocean its name because of its desire to protect the ocean. Fisker will deliver the electric Ocean Popemobile to Pope Francis and the Vatican in late 2022. This is about the same time that Fisker will release the production version of the 2023 Fisker Ocean.

The Ocean will be the second zero-missions Popemobile for Pope Francis. For a 2019 visit of Pope Francis in Japan, Toyota produced a modified Mirai Popemobile. It uses a hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion system. However, since there are not many hydrogen fuel stations available, the Pope has not used the Mirai Popemobile very much. However, with the rapid construction of EV charging stations, the Ocean Popemobile will likely see much more use. 

How will Fisker modify the Ocean Popemobile?

Henrik Fisker showing images of a Fisker Ocean Popemobile to Pope Francis
(L-R) Henrik Fisker and Pope Francis | Fisker

It’s unknown how Fisker will modify the Ocean Popemobile to meet the needs of Pope Francis for his public appearances. Ever since the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981, the Vatican increased security for the Pope. This includes extra security measures for the papal cars. With these security modifications, the Popemobile earned its name. The Popemobiles feature an armored body, bulletproof glass, a handrail that the Pope holds onto when waving to the crowd, and steps for easier entry and exit.

Throughout the history of the Popemobile, Mercedes-Benz has been the most frequently used vehicle. However, Pope Francis, with his emphasis on humility, often uses more humble cars for the Popemobile. This includes Popemobile versions of the Jeep Wrangler, Ford Ranger, Ford Focus, Nissan Frontier, and Kia Soul. Now, with the electric Fisker Ocean Popemobile, Pope Francis will have an eco-friendly vehicle to highlight his message of protecting the environment for future generations. 


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