More than 3,800 fuel cell systems have been installed and operated worldwide, according to a new report by Fuel Cell Today. The first such systems were introduced in the 1950s and the improvement in performance and increase in the number of units since then has been substantial.London, England – November 15, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] “The 58 percent annual growth rate shown by last year’s figures is significant, following high growth rates in the preceding years,” commented Fuel Cell Today’s deputy editor and co-author of the new report, Mark Cropper. “For example, there has been significant growth in the automotive sector, with over 300 prototype vehicles built around the world since the mid-1990s.” This growth is expected to continue as companies such as Toyota and Honda lease their first fuel cell automobiles towards the end of 2002. However, other uses for this technology are beginning to emerge, for instance powering laptop computers. Toshiba plans to sell a fuel cell powered laptop beginning in 2004.