The car was given to the Pope at the Sustainability of Communication and Innovation Conference in Rome. At the event, Opel, officials for the Vatican, and energy industry professionals spoke about planning out a more environmentally-friendly future for Vatican City, which has pledged to try and become the first carbon dioxide-free country on planet Earth.
“We are proud that we as Opel can contribute to the ambitious goals of the Vatican City," said Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, according to the press release.
The Ampera-e is NEDC-rated to have 323 miles of electric driving range. It's marketed in Europe under the Opel nameplate, a previously GM-owned brand that Peugeot agreed to purchase—along with its sister brand Vauxhall—in March for $2.3 billion. (That deal is currently pending while it awaits regulatory approval.)
Earlier in 2017, the Pope was given the option to take a free Tesla Model S or a Nissan Leaf as part of a previous push to start inching the Vatican toward a more sustainable path, according to Electrek. In that instance, the Pope chose the Leaf. Now with the Ampera-e parked in his garage, the Bishop of Rome has a mini-fleet of EVs to choose from.