WINCHESTER police have been plugging their green credentials after taking delivery of an electric-powered patrol car.

Officers operating in north Winchester have begun a two-week trial of the Mitsubishi i MiEV and the constabulary has admitted it is very interested in the technology.

The car – which has no carbon emissions and boasts a top speed of 87mph – will only be used for police business that doesn’t require a rapid response.

“It’s been very eye-catching, lots of members of the public have seen it already,” said Sgt John Stribley. “It will be great for engaging, for example, with locals youths we deal with at parks and such like.”

John Bradley, Hampshire Constabulary’s fleet manager, said it was in their interests to reduce emissions and fuel costs. The force has 1,027 vehicles that clock up 15m miles per annum.

If the trial is successful the force will wait until next year when the car is expected to be available commercially.

“We’re talking to Mitsubishi and there’s no doubt we’re extremely interested in this technology,” added Mr Bradley. “But as we know there’s so many new technologies in terms of electric hybrids so we’re just watching this space.”