Criminals in Portugal face a new foe silently patrolling the streets, after local police took delivery of a fleet of Nissan LEAF electric vehicles.
The eight cars will be operated by Portugal's Polícia de Segurança Pública (PSP), the security force responsible for policing the large urban areas of the country – a move that Nissan says makes it the first police force in the world to use electric vehicles.
Although they will be used primarily as part of the PSP's Safe School programme, the cars will be fully decked out with flashing blue lights, sirens and "Policia" markings, ready to jump into crime-fighting mode at any time.
"We pride ourselves in being the first police force in the world to incorporate cars with zero-emission technology as part of our 5,000 vehicle fleet," said superintendent Paul Gomes Valente, national director of PSP.
"We want to continue reducing pollution in large urban centres and the introduction of the 100 per cent electric Nissan LEAF sets a new benchmark for our fleet."
Portugal has proved a rich market for Nissan – it was the first country in Europe to sell the LEAF in 2011 and has pioneered a network of charge points in major cities. European production of the Nissan LEAF will start at Sunderland early next year.