Toyota with the Prius and Honda with the Insight are the first manufacturers to push hybrid electric/petrol vehicles into mainstream production - both arrive in the UK this year - and a number of manufacturers including General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Honda and BMW have all pledged to have 'cost effective' fuel cell vehicles in production by 2004. But the key to success in the technological breakthrough is to have 'millions of vehicles on roads around the world' and while
General Motors may be technologically ready, but an infrastructure for customers may not be, according to Dr Byron McCormick, director of General Motors' global alternative propulsion centre. 'We are not looking for short term bragging rights about who is the first to have a fuel cell vehicle. In fact we had our first fuel cell vehicle in the 1960s,' said McCormick.