The Back to the Future trilogy that started back in 1985 set Marty McFly and eccentric scientist Emmett “Doc” Brown as cultural icons together with their DeLorean car that went back and forth across time in a lightning bolt.
Now, 30 years into that future, Japan’s Toyota bids on the popular franchises’ appeal to attract a wide audience towards its state of the art hydrogen-powered sedan – Mirai – which means “future” in Japanese. For that the automaker has rekindled the relationship between Michael J. Fox, who played McFly in the series, and Christopher Lloyd, who was the “Doc” as spokespersons for the fuel cell model, which is being launched in the United States. The automaker tied its new almost five-minute-long promotional video to a scene from the 1989 sequel where Doc enlisted McFly’s help and found some fuel in a garbage can. Around 26 years later, Lloyd and Fox are together with a Toyota aero-mechanical engineer that demonstrates the Mirai’s fuel can also be obtained from garbage dumps. The $57,500 Mirai is at the forefront of the automaker’s plans to sell in excess of 30,000 fuel-cell vehicles each year within half a decade in a larger masterplan to cut vehicle emissions by 90 percent.
“It’s really hard to imagine that it actually exists — that a vehicle can operate without impacting the environment,” Lloyd, 76, commented during an interview. The actor added both him and Fox were tapped by Toyota to star in the carmaker’s “Fueled by Everything” series, which underscores how hydrogen can be generated through renewable methods. But the desire to hit the milestone would need to have real world backing – meaning hydrogen refueling stations, which are behind schedule both in the US and in Japan.