If Captain Planet were a real policeman of environmental consciousness and fighting the forces of evil and hydrocarbon emissions, he’d likely have a Nissan Leaf. And he’d probably live in Portugal, too.
That’s because the Portuguese police have enlisted the help of eight 2012 Nissan Leaf electric cars to roam its streets, serving duty in large metropolitan areas mainly as part of its safe school program fleet. But, as you can see from the blue light on top, they are perfectly capable of chasing down and arresting baddies, and they will driven by full-time police staff. So think of them as you did your community’s D.A.R.E. car back in the day.
“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, the national director of Portugal’s police force, said in a statement.
He added: “We want to continue reducing pollution in large urban centers and the introduction of the 100-percent electric Nissan Leaf sets a new benchmark for our fleet.”
Portugal was one of the first countries to set up an electric infrastructure across the country, and it was the first European country to sell the Nissan Leaf when it first went on sale last year. It may be a punchline to serve duty as a police car in the U.S. where our electric car infrastructure is limited, but Portugal seems like an ideal location to start for police duty. Additionally, Europe often uses tiny hatchbacks for police patrol in all cities. When it comes time to throw criminals into a vehicle to get hauled off to jail, it’s usually not in the back seat of a police car; it’s in the back of a paddy wagon.