Jay Leno said he thinks the genius of Tesla CEO Elon Musk was that “he built the infrastructure while he built the vehicle”.
“Even today, many major manufacturers build an electric car, but where do you charge it?” Leno told The News with Shepard Smith during a Friday night interview. “Elon was smart when he started, he knew this idea would work, so he built charging stations.”
Electric car maker Tesla will be the newest member of the S&P 500 on Monday.
2020 was a monster year for Tesla, the sixth largest company in the world – its inventory has grown by about 700% that year. CNBC’s “Jay Leno’s Garage” host said he was confident Tesla could maintain its dominance in electric vehicles, adding that he had seen European electric cars fall short.
“You don’t have the range of the Tesla,” Leno said. “They’re not doing it because Tesla is leading the field. We seem to have this inferiority complex that things in Europe are somehow better than the things that were built here.”
Leno gave host Shepard Smith examples of superior American innovation, including General Motors’ Corvette, which he believes rivals the Lamborghini and Ferrari and costs just $ 60,000.
He highlighted America’s dominance in private industry and pointed to Musk’s success in the space industry.
“The fact that Elon can send a rocket into space and land it back on earth for a tenth the price of the US government?” Said Leno. “Well, that’s exactly what the private sector should do – cheaper, faster, more efficiently.”
Leno suggested that those who want to feel the “rumble of a car beneath them” should “buy another car.” He admitted that he loves Ferraris, Ford Cobra and Lamborghinis on weekends, but that sitting in traffic and driving on the spot just isn’t practical.
“When you’re in a quiet electric vehicle, you don’t pollute and save,” Leno said. “When I want to have fun, I take out my 1960 Triumph TR3 and bomb around, but in terms of everyday vehicles you can’t beat it.” [the Tesla]. “