Pope gets his first electric car

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Pope Benedict XVI is now a bit greener.

The 85-year-old pontiff was presented with his first electric car on Wednesday, a customized white Renault Kangoo for jaunts around the gardens of the papal residence at Castel Gandolfo.

Benedict has been dubbed the ‘‘green pope’’ for his environmental concerns, which have been a hallmark of his papacy.

Earlier this year, Italian automaker NWG donated one to the pope, but for the Vatican press office to use. Renault also has given a blue version of the white Kangoo to the Vatican gendarmes.

Though white and carrying the papal seal, the Renault isn’t a popemobile per se. Mercedes-Benz, which makes the customized popemobile with bullet-proof windows for the pope to use on trips outside the Vatican, has been studying a hybrid, energy-saving model.

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