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Japan carmakers think outside the green box with new eco-offerings

Added-value features take center stage as market evolves

Nissan Leaf

TOKYO -- Making environmentally friendly vehicles more fun to drive, and able to drive themselves, marks a new phase for Japanese automakers in a race that has broadened beyond an earlier focus on range and charging speed.

Mazda Motor is working to roll out a compact electric vehicle with enhanced stability on curves as early as 2019. Roughly the same size as the Demio, it will employ electronic control technology to curb engine torque when starting to turn, enabling more weight to fall on the front wheels.

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