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News Summary: Leaf upgraded, price lowered

The Associated Press

TURNING OVER NEW LEAF: The upgraded Nissan Leaf electric car can travel further without recharging, comes in a cheaper model and tells drivers how much battery life is left. The changes in the revamped model were based on feedback from owners whose chief worry was running out of juice while driving.

LIMITED POSSIBILITIES: Electric cars emit no pollution, but they need to be recharged. Owners have charging equipment installed at home. But the scarcity of recharging stations on the roads has limited electric vehicles use to short commutes and kept zero-emission cars confined to a market niche.

NEW CAR SMELL: The new model can travel 142 miles on a single charge, up from 124 miles, as long as you don't use air conditioning, because of improvements such as streamlining the battery system and the vehicle's lighter weight. It sells for less than $31,000 in Japan when stripped of fancy options and adding government green subsidies — more affordable than the cheapest previous model at just below $37,000.