It’s a simple sketch of a basic all-electric car, set off by designer Henrik Fisker’s signature at the bottom.

What will make it a treasured keepsake is the fact there was another simple autograph added to the piece of paper, at the top. That came from Pope Francis.

The signature is nothing less than a papal stamp of approval on the first exhaust-free and emissions-free vehicle to be part of the Vatican transportation fleet. It also represents the genesis story of how a globally renowned automobile visionary based in Manhattan Beach came to seek divine assistance in creating a one-of-a-kind ride for the leader of the Catholic Church.

Last May 20, a private audience in Rome with Pope Francis was arranged for Fisker, the chairman, CEO and founder of Fisker Inc., and his wife, Geeta Gupta-Fisker, the company’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

Being familiar with the pope’s concerns about the impact of the climate on future generations – especially those expressed in his 2015 encyclical Laudato si’  – Henrik Fisker explained to Angelus why he felt compelled to take action.

“Pope Francis often speaks of his concern for the environment, so an electric vehicle with no emissions and no exhaust output is an ideal choice for the next papal transport vehicle,” Fisker said.

“Pope Francis expected me to show him some renderings of the vehicle and seemed pleased with what we showed him.”

Fisker showed Pope Francis more photos of his planned four-wheel drive EV SUV Ocean model, a $37,000-based-priced vehicle expected to be revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show this November. The modified version to the pope’s specifications is expected to be finished and donated to His Holiness by late 2022.

More than just an all-electric car, Fisker’s plans include an interior made up of a variety of sustainable materials, including carpets made from recycled plastic bottles recovered from the ocean — hence the vehicle’s name.

“The initial meeting was conducted through a translator, but he did appear intrigued by the all-electric propulsion and the electrified operation of the glass cupola,” said Fisker, a 57-year-old Danish native, describing the term used for the extended bubble that will emerge from the car’s roof for the Pope to stand in and be seen while driving through crowds.

Full story at Angelus News.