The council has taken delivery of four LEAFs, supplied by Automotive Leasing, the specialist public sector division of LeasePlan, on a five year deal.

The zero-carbon cars have been acquired through funding from Transport Scotland, as part of a £4.3 million initiative to make sustainable transport more accessible for Scotland's public services.

The grant provides bridging funding to cover the difference in cost between purchasing conventionally-powered cars and low carbon or electric vehicles.

Dumfries & Galloway Council also used the funding to install charging points at several locations in the town, supplementing existing facilities.

The electric vehicles will be added to the council’s existing 100 pool fleet and will be made available for use by employees. NHS staff will also be able to use two of the vehicles, which are based at Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary.

Cllr Graham Nicol, chair of resources committee at Dumfries & Galloway Council, said: 'We are always looking for ways to minimise the council’s impact on the environment, and these vehicles have offered us the ideal chance to reduce our carbon footprint.

'In addition, with petrol at record highs, particularly in rural areas, the LEAF will help council drivers save money. The timing to introduce the new electric cars could not be better, as the Nissan LEAF’s 100-mile range means it can operate effectively over longer distances. The Transport Scotland grant has enabled the council to realise its environmental ambitions, even in the current era of stringent budgeting.'