Jay Leno is what you might call a car
nut aficionado, with a collection of nearly 300 vehicles worth an estimated $150 USD million ($191M CAD).
While almost all of his collection is internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, Leno is no stranger to Tesla and electric vehicles. The former late night show host recently had CEO Elon Musk and chief designer Franz von Holzhausen on his show where he had the opportunity to drive the Cybertruck.
In an interview yesterday on CNBC with Shepard Smith, Leno talked about the recent growth in popularity of electric vehicles (EVs), and in particular Tesla.
Calling Musk a “genius”, Leno said the South African born entrepreneur did at the beginning what legacy automakers still aren’t doing today, building EV charging infrastructure.
“Even today, a lot of the major manufacturers build an electric car, but, oh, where do you charge it? Elon was smart, when he started, he knew this idea would work so he built charging stations.”
Leno was also confident Tesla will be able to maintain its dominating lead in the EV marketplace. When asked about the upcoming competition from European automakers, Leno said they still don’t match Tesla in the most important category – range.
“They don’t have the range of the Tesla. They don’t, because Tesla leads the field. We seem to have this inferiority complex that somehow things in Europe are better than things built here.”
While Leno sees the benefits of EVs, he’s still not giving up on ICE vehicles to have a little fun.
“If you’re in a quiet, electric vehicle, you’re not polluting and you’re saving. When I want to have fun, I’ll take out my 1960 Triumph TR3 and bomb around, but in terms of everyday vehicles, you can’t beat [Tesla].”
You can watch the full interview below.