“There’s Almost No Reason to Have a Gas Car,” Says Car-Lover Jay Leno

In a new interview, he praises electric vehicles and his personal Tesla

Comedian Jay Leno in New York City
While promoting the new season of "Jay Leno's Garage," Leno praised electric cars and his personal Tesla.
Roy Rochlin/Getty

If we were to compile a list of the people using their celebrity to preach the gospel of gas-powered cars, Jay Leno would make the top three. But just because he has devoted his entire post-Tonight Show life to the automobile doesn’t mean he isn’t willing to change with the times.

In an interview on CNBC’s The Exchange to promote his new season of Jay Leno’s Garage, the comedian and gearhead had this to say about the state of cars in America: “There’s almost no reason to have a gas car unless you’re doing long-haul duty.”

In other words: There’s almost no reason not to own an electric car. 

Taken out of context, that comment is sure to rankle a certain old-school set of car lovers. But this is Leno we’re talking about here — who features such gas-guzzlers as Mil-Spec Hummers on his show — and he lays out his argument carefully.

“For new technology to succeed, it can’t be equal, it’s got to be better,” he said. “And they’ve sort of solved the battery problem. You can go 350 to 400 miles on a charge on a lot of electric cars now. There’s no maintenance. They’re faster than the gas car.” 

All those claims don’t simply come from Leno’s wealth of knowledge about the car industry, it also comes from personal experience. In the interview, he notes that he’s owned a Tesla for three years and he’s “never done anything” when it comes to maintenance. 

Watch the full interview below:

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