Whether you’re too young (or too old) to remember Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in the blockbuster Back to the Future movies, Toyota is making sure to give you a proper refresher—and a proper look at its next future.
As fans may recall, a key date that scrolled up on the digital time machine back in those ‘80s films was October 21, 2015; one of the predictions was that we’d have a future with vehicles powered by trash, just like the Toyota Hilux pickup that also starred alongside Fox and Lloyd.
And so on Wednesday, October 21,Toyota is handing over the keys to the first people who signed up for a hydrogen-powered Mirai FCV (fuel cell vehicle) sedan. (All the consumers are California-based since the majority of hydrogen stations in the country are in California.)
Hydrogen can be created in various ways, including from trash, although bringing that solution all the way to the pump is still years away.
The fuel for Toyota’s Mirai will be available at a handful of gasoline-like pumps, some being installed at existing gas stations. Refueling for a 300-mile range takes four to five minutes. With the Prius, Toyota was responsible for bringing mainstream hybrid technology to market. The Mirai represents the next futuristic technology that the Japanese carmaker is pioneering; will other auto companies go to market with their own versions?
A few, including Honda, are serious. Toyota is first in line to greet early adopters.
Last week, I spoke with actor Christopher Lloyd, who played mad scientist Doc Brown in the film series. Did he ever expect any of the film’s predictions of the future to actually come to life? “No, the film was a lot of fun, but it’s amazing to see it all becoming a reality now,” he said. “All the advancements are so amazing—and I feel better finally not adding to the problem but adding to the solution.”
To read and see the exclusive first media drive of the 2016 Toyota Mirai, return to this space later.
And if another vehicle that starred in the Back To the Future franchise—the winged-door DeLorean (another Tesla Model X inspiration, I’m sure)—is more your cup of tea, go to eBay Motors, Autotrader and delorean.com. All offer models for sale, from $15,000 to $75,000, depending on condition and seller.