The comedian Jay Leno has demonstrated his passion for automobiles by housing more than 200 vehicles at his garage outside Los Angeles. However, his focus has recently switched to electric cars, which he attributes in part to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, according to Yahoo News.
“I think he should get a certain amount of credit for leading the charge because before Elon, [people would say] ‘it’s a golf cart,'” Leno told Yahoo Finance. “People would joke about electric [that] they’re slow and whatever it might be. So I give him a lot of credit for it. I think EV will be the savior of the classic car industry.”
The only vehicle from Leno’s collection that he has ever sold is a Tesla Model S, which he has owned for a long time. Notably, he only sold that to get a brand-new Tesla Model S Plaid. Leno’s program Jay Leno’s Garage is already in its seventh season, given his commendable interest in automobiles and his sizable collection.
In retrospect, Leno first became interested in electric vehicles in 2007, when Musk brought his Roadster prototype to Leno’s garage.
“I remember sitting and he said: ‘Well, what I want to do is build charging stations all up and down the coast,'” Leno recalled. “And I’m going ‘ok, that’ll happen, that sounds good.'”
At the time, just a few electric vehicles, such as the GM EV1 and Honda Insight EV Plus, were on the road. Aside from being hesitant about EVs, it was also a little difficult for him to understand the idea of creating a charging network.
As of 2021, almost 3,500 Tesla Supercharger stations house more than 31,000 individual Tesla charging stationsworldwide, according to US News & World Report. Impressively, about one-third of those stations are dispersed across all 50 states of the United States.
“He started building the infrastructure almost at the exact time he started building the car,” Leno said. “When the car debuted, you could drive LA to San Francisco. And now, you can go anywhere in the country. You see a lot of other automakers get into the EV market saying you can charge it anywhere. You can’t really.”
Nearly all conventional automakers have aggressive EV transformation plans as the world shifts to electric vehicles. The Inflation Reduction Act, which will extend federal tax incentives for Americans wishing to buy moderately priced EVs, was also just signed by President Biden.
Nonetheless, Leno’s enthusiasm for electric vehicles extends beyond Tesla. In fact, he is convinced that the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck from Ford will be popular among average Americans once released.