In the Back to the Future film series that kicked off in 1985, a time-traveling DeLorean used garbage as fuel. That idea stuck with Michihiko Iwamoto, who saw the movie as a young man and now, at 51, is CEO of Jeplan, a Tokyo firm focused on recycling-related technologies.
Now Jeplan has teamed up with NBC Universal Entertainment Japan to create a real-world version of the vehicle. It’s powered not by banana peels and other trash fed into a “Mr. Fusion” device, as in the movie, but by bioethanol produced from cotton fibers of old clothes.
The car is scheduled to drive through Tokyo on Oct. 21, 2015, the same date that the film’s protagonists—Doc Brown, Marty McFly, and his girlfriend Jennifer Parker—travel to in their time machine at the end of the first film.
“My three-decade-long dream will finally come true,” Michihiko Iwamoto told the Asahi Shimbum, one of Japan’s biggest newspapers. “We have been working to complete the machine by this date.”
Old clothing—collected from stores around Japan—will be sent to the company’s already-operating plant in the Ehime prefecture, where it will be made into bioethanol through a process called saccharification.
The film series made the news in June, too, when Lexus introduced a teaser video for Slide, a hoverboard reminiscent of the one featured in Back to the Future II.
Image by Terabass on Wikipedia, licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0.