Electric cars may soon receive a most holy endorsement. 

Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, who runs the Vatican City state, said Wednesday that Pope Benedict XVI would be interested in replacing his gasoline-powered Popemobile with one that gets its energy from the sun. 

"If one proposed an electric Popemobile that was efficient, safe and a reasonable size, what interest would he have in preferring a petrol Popemobile?" asked Giovanni. 

The comments came during a presentation of a book on the Vatican's ecological efforts titled "The Energy of the Sun in the Vatican." It documents the 2008 installation of 2,700 photovoltaic cells on the roof of the Vatican's main auditorium and the 2009 installation of a solar cooling unit for its main cafeteria.

According to SolarWorld, a company that worked with the Vatican on the auditorium installation, the Holy See is also considering a 100-megawatt solar facility on Vatican land in the outskirts of Rome.

So what would it take to get the Pope cruising around in something a bit more green than his current bullet-proof Mercedes-Benz? Apparently, just someone willing to build it — and have it come loaded with all the proper security features. 

"It would also be a demonstration, a sign of his ecological attention," added Giovanni, noting that the Vatican was open to consideringany carmaker that might come up with such a vehicle. 

Are you listening, Tesla?

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Vatican considers solar-powered Popemobile
Pope Benedict XVI interested in finding a replacement that runs on clean energy.