STUTTGART, Germany — DaimlerChrysler AG said this week it has sold the world's first fuel cell-powered buses for trials in several European cities beginning at the end of next year.

The auto giant said it signed contracts to equip up to 30 of its Mercedes-Benz Citaro with the new engines.

All the world's major automakers are working on fuel-cell vehicles, which run on electricity produced by combining hydrogen and oxygen. The byproduct is water vapor, instead of noxious fumes.

The company said its EvoBus subsidiary would sell the buses for about 1.25 million euros ($1.2 million) each, including a two-year service package.

The vehicles are to be delivered from the end of 2002 through 2003 and details from the tests used to fine-tune the design, DaimlerChrysler said.

The buses are to run in trials in cities in the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Britain, Portugal, Sweden and Iceland.