TOKYO, Japan --- Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. announced it has started testing a vehicle with a next-generation fuel-cell stack.

Announced in August, the new fuel cell unit is 25 percent smaller than the previous model and provides 1.4 times the power output, 130Kw against 90kw before. With half the amount of platinum in its electrodes and a more durable catalyzer, it will also last longer and be less expensive to build, Nissan said.

Working toward commercial introduction of the fuel-cell stack, Nissan began onboard testing in late 2008, and in February this year started cold-weather testing at its Hokkaido Proving Ground.

The next-generation fuel-cell stack is part of a range of eco-friendly technologies that Nissan is pursuing under Nissan Green Program 2010, a plan focused on developing new technologies, products and services leading to reductions in CO2 emissions, cleaner emissions, and expanded recycling of resources.