Nissan Leaf joins Vatican fleet

Nissan Leaf

The Vatican is now home for the world’s first mass-market electric vehicle (EV) after Nissan delivered to the organization its first Leaf  as a symbol of the two’s shared goal of carbon neutrality.

The world Japanese automaker donated the Nissan Leaf on World Environment Day following the launch of the Vatican's Laudato si' Action Platform to make Catholic institutions environmentally sustainable within seven years, which takes its name from the pope's landmark 2015 encyclical on the environment.

Nissan Leaf handover in Vatican between Marco Toro and Cardinale Giuseppe Bertello

Nissan Italy Managing Director Marco Toro handed over the keys of the white Leaf to the president of the Governorate of Vatican City State Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, who is also the president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State.

"I am honored, on behalf of Nissan, to support the Holy See on the path towards the decarbonization of its operations, a goal which Nissan shares,” Toro said during a handover ceremony at the Vatican.

"We are working toward 75 percent of our sales in Europe being electrified by 2023, with a fully electrified range in the 2030s. This builds on the heritage of the Nissan Leaf as the world's first mass-market EV, with 530,000 cars on the road having saved more than 2.8 million tons of CO2 worldwide," Toro added.

While the Philippines features, for now, only the 40kWh lithium-ion battery-fitted version (priced at ₱2.798 million), the Nissan Leaf that is manufactured in Sunderland, UK for the European market is available with two battery sizes,  and Nissan's e-Pedal technology (for single-pedal driving).

Nissan bared recently that it has plans to triple the plant's on-site renewable energy generation to 20 percent of the factory's needs — enough to manufacture every Leaf sold in Europe.

Nissan Leaf

UK Consul General in Milan and Department for International Trade (DIT) in Italy Director Ben Greenwood said that as part of its Clean Growth campaign and in the run up to COP26 in Glasgow and the Milan Pre-COP this year, “DIT Italy is proud to be supporting Nissan Europe in its journey towards an entirely sustainable mobility model that will see all its vehicles electrified by early 2030s.”

He added, "Today's event is testament to our desire to collaborate with the Holy See to help them reach their sustainability goals and their commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. This is part of Pope Francis' wider effort to protect the environment, as outlined in 2015 in his Laudato si' Encyclical on Care for our Common Home and announced at the Climate Ambition Summit in December 2020."

Further, Nissan said that by end of 2023, it will make available electrified version on all of its offerings in Europe.

“This builds on more than a decade of experience from launching the Nissan Leaf as the world's first mass-market electric vehicle. Upcoming innovations include the launch of vehicles including the all-new Qashqai and X-Trail with Nissan's unique e-Power technology, the new all-electric Nissan Ariya and a new electric van,” the vehicle manufacturer shared in a statement.

Photos from Nissan Philippines

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