Jay Leno shares insights on Elon Musk’s genius, and how Tesla and gas cars can coexist



Legendary host and automotive enthusiast Jay Leno knows a thing or two about cars. Over the years, Leno has collected vehicles that range from rare classics to the most technologically-advanced, some of which are now featured in his show, Jay Leno’s Garage. He is also an ardent Tesla believer, having supported the company since the days of the original Roadster. 

Leno was recently interviewed in a CNBC segment on Friday, following Tesla’s final trading day before its inclusion into the S&P 500 on Monday. During the segment, which was featured in The News with Shepard Smith, Leno was asked about the potential competition that is coming into the electric vehicle sector. The legendary host, hinted that Tesla has an advantage in the form of Elon Musk’s long-term vision. 

Leno explained that the genius of Elon Musk is that he decided to build Tesla’s infrastructure as he was building the company’s electric cars. This ensured that even early vehicles like the Model S had enough charging stations to enable comfortable long drives. Even today, Leno remarked, major car manufacturers who are coming up with new EVs still fall behind in this regard. 

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“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,” he said. 

The host also stated that ultimately, Tesla has an edge in factors like range, which is something that even European carmakers like Porsche and Audi is yet to replicate. “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,” Leno noted. 

Apart from these insights, Leno also highlighted the concerns of avid traditional car enthusiasts about the soul of vehicles and the emotions inspired by the rumbling of an internal combustion engine. The host acknowledged the concerns, though he also noted that there is really no reason why any true car enthusiast should not embrace electric cars. 

“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 it (the Tesla),” Leno said. 

Watch Jay Leno’s recent CNBC interview in the video below. 

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