The American auto industry could fall behind its foreign rivals if government agencies do not help develop fuel cell-powered vehicles, industry executives told a U.S. House panel Wednesday, according to the Detroit Free Press. Federal officials should boost funding for research into fuel cells, which produce electricity from hydrogen, and help automakers bring vehicles powered by the nearly pollution-free technology to consumers, the executives told an energy subcommittee. GM and other automakers increasingly see fuel cells as the eventual replacement to the oil-burning internal combustion engine, but the technology has so far been limited to prototypes and experimental test vehicles.