Jay Leno Says Americans Should All Root For Tesla – Video

NOV 10 2016 BY JAY COLE 72

Jay Leno, former Tonight Show host and now front man of his own automotive program on CNBC – Jay Leno’s Garage, sat down with the business channel and talked about why Americans should all be rooting for – and not against, electric car maker Tesla Motors.

Jay says don't root against Tesla

Jay says don’t root against Tesla, but applaud its efforts

Pretty simple premise really:  The US auto segment has been receding by about 5% of the automotive brands per year over the past 100 years, and new faces are pretty rare.

Jay rightly points out that in the mid-teens there was some 350 car companies in the US, and they are becoming more and more of a dying breed.

And for that reason Tesla, being a rare and recent success in the automotive business, and actually building all its vehicles in the US, should be held up and not torn down.

“Here’s a guy (Elon Musk) building an American car in America using American labor and paying them a union wage…the whole bit. Why are you not rooting for it to be successful? We do you wish it would fail? I don’t quite understand that.”

Hat tip to SparkEV!

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72 Comments on "Jay Leno Says Americans Should All Root For Tesla – Video"

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I just test drove an S – I have driven a lot of cars over my 58 year life. It is the best car by far I have driven regardless of type hands down.

Nice to hear that. For me the opinion of people like you is the one that matters the most.

+ 1 me too.

I took a test drive in a Model S P90DL a few weeks ago, and I concur with you. It was so smooth and responsive.

If I think back to when I was a kid in the 80’s imagining cars of the future, Tesla is as close as it gets. The tech in it feels a decade or more ahead of my Nissan Leaf and my wife’s Honda Odyssey.

Wise words.

Hear, hear.

And, isn’t amazing how that even here on IEVs there are posters that whistle the “go America, go Trump” line (cough, sven, cough) and then constantly bash the American success story that is Tesla.


For the record, I’m pro-Tesla and anti-cult.

Yeah sure…

When you make blanket ad hominem comments regarding Model X owners egos being the most functional aspect of the ownership experience — you are simply “Pro Troll” for it’s own sake.

If this is the only way you get your social petting in life, then I suggest you seek professional help…

There is nothing wrong with sincerely appreciating and supporting something positive being done in sustainable transport today. The noun “Fan”, exists for a reason:

1: an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator

2: an ardent admirer or enthusiast (as of a celebrity or a pursuit)

Your use of the word ‘cult’, mirrors that of other legacy automotive shills in the industry, like Bob Lutz. If you want to emulate and embrace the language of an industry dinosaur with sour grapes syndrome; that’s your choice. But your need for psychological counseling, is even more evident.

In NYC, most sports fans boo their team when they play bad to express their disapproval. You’re the type of fan that is derisively called a homer, more specifically, a Tesla homer.

Someone who shows blind loyalty to a team or organization, typically ignoring any shortcomings or faults they have.


What about the high speed electron cult??

sven said:

“For the record, I’m pro-Tesla and anti-cult.”

For the record, you heavily promote the anti-Tesla cult’s FUDster conspiracy theories, even including the smear campaign that Tesla is hiding a serious flaw in their cars’ suspension systems which — according to your cult belief, and despite all the actual evidence — has contributed to serious and fatal accidents.

You have also, in the past, persistently promoted the anti-Tesla cult conspiracy theory that Tesla was making far more “inventory” cars than it claimed, and was dumping them on some hidden or “gray” market. In fact, you’ve only stopped promoting that conspiracy theory because Tesla now actually is making more cars for inventory, and openly advertising them on its website!

So don’t pee on our legs and tell us it’s raining. You have frequently and heavily invested in short-selling TSLA stock, and you are perhaps the most active anti-Tesla cult member and serial FUDster posting to InsideEVs.

Stop making up lies about me. You must be the world’s oldest and most pathetic cyber bully. All you do on this forum is call people names and accuse them of being FUDsters, shorters, paid shills, etc. I can only imagine what an empty life you live that you feel the need to lash out and attack people on the internet in an effort to make you feel good about yourself. I truly feel sorry for you. 🙁 I suspect that you have mental health problems, and sincerely hope that you will seek out professional help.

And FYI, I have never shorted Tesla stock or any other stock.

But he’s not making up lies about you. Everyone else on this entire forum knows he’s telling the truth. Only you seem to be utterly blind and in denial as to your own behaviour regarding Tesla.

In the immortal words of Ben Stern..

“Siddown, Shuddup!”

And anout6her Usual Suspect, zzzzzzzz, said he hopes Tesla’s stock becomes a penny stock.

Not that we really needed the confirmation he’s a TSLA short-seller.

And you know they bought their American flag at Wallmart.

There is no need to get political here. I am republican and I back EVs (and Tesla) %100.

GM volt dot com had a poll back in 2011 regarding party identification. It came back with a plurality identifying as Republican, then Democrats, with independent a close third.
I think it was 38% or so to 32% to 25%, respectively, if memory serves. We were all kind of surprised that most of the respondents weren’t Democrats. Not all of us were electric car owners at that time but we all liked the technology.
This isn’t as much a party issue now as it was in the immediate aftermath of the GM bailout. The leadership still is anti BEV, but the voters are looking at them as being a pretty good idea for a lot of different reasons.

It’ because the right wing is polarized by the military industrial complex which the hydrocarbon companies are a big chunk. GM being the most active member in sabotaging EVS on their behalf.

Remember the EV1? Remember the Volt is a hybrid? A régression… Look at the Bolt’ price and production Target..

SpakEV is by GM, the best bang for the buck of any car in the world. If GM is so anti-EV, they wouldn’t have made such great car, nor produce Bolt.

Nissan is destroying EV experience for all by offering free charging that clog up DCFC to promote their crappy cars with huge charge taper. If anyone is sabotaging EV, it’s Nissan.

Better buy and not lease your EVs now that an anti reality President Elect Trump is coming soon to a White House near you. Keep GM from crushing your BOLT 3 years from now.

I understand you love your car (maybe spare some of that feeling for your partner as well), but since when yours is the best and the rest is crap? That Nissan bashing seems like jealousy because you need to stand in the queue?

The republican party has changed too much in the past decades, so that its voters political views are really divergent right now.

You have eyervthing from fiscally conservatives, to climate change deniers and racists.

For some of those, Tesla stands for a big hoax thought up by liberal conspiracies trying to destroy america.

Sadly its the GOPs fault that those people think like that. Things like that have been force fed to a certain demographic to keep unpopular projejcts, like keystone, alive.

These politics of fear and conspiracy theories, where everything bad got branded liberal and everything liberal branded as bad lead to Trumps victory. A president that represents no core conservative values, but only those made up to get a demographic that doesn’t care for small government, voting for the GOP.

Scott, you need to speak up, write an opinion piece. For my own views, Trump’s politics do not line up with my views on the environment and the importance of embracing newer, safer transportation and energy technologies. Write your thoughts. I expect the republican angle is that solar is producing more jobs than fossil fuel, and they are healthier jobs, higher-paying jobs. Additionally, the money earned and spent is domestic, beginning to end, which is in alignment with Trump’s nationalistic platform and much better for the economy. The American Lung Association did a report this year that put the real cost of fossil fuels next to the real cost of the diseases they cause. You want to fix Obamacare? Great. Start by cutting back on part of the root cause: the environment that is contributing to disease. Every Republican who is pro-EV and solar (and maybe Tesla) now has a vivid obligation to speak up, and speak often. Change the platform. Our nation was shaped atop letter-writing and pamphlets. If you think this is the time to Make America Great Again, stand up and act, rise up and be heard.

Interestingly, one blog post I have in the works is along those lines, aptly titled “right wing EV nut job”. When the government is reducing your taxes by $7500 to get superior product that’s made in USA, every right winger should be on board unless they are socialist Republicans who like to pay even more taxes.

At the risk of fueling a partisan and ad hominem discussion that I wish were purely pragmatic and technological (not just here on IEVs, but nation- and worldwide), here’s a commentary I wrote a couple years back:

If anyone is interested in contacting me for civil, forward-looking, non-partisan discourse, you can find my info at engineering.unca.edu.

Big Oil wants the Electric Car to Fail PERIOD! They will do whatever they can , Including stopping Tesla From selling Cars in most States & more to help it Fail……”WHAT A COUNTRY”……. I Pray that Big Oil Gets a Big Surprise this time.,And That EV’s are here to stay And “Will Not” Fail !

The oil industry is the most powerful cartel of this planet,. They have the politicians in their back pocket, the car companies as partners, and they control most of the media.
It’s simple as that.


The oil industry funds right wing media all over the world. “Keep ’em in line and send us the profits.” From Bakersfield to Benghazi to Bahreïn.

Yes, even South African immigrants start cool companies like Tesla and Space X in the USA.

There are powerful forces arrayed against Tesla.
What is there to understand?
With a new rogues gallery of cabinet members, and anti-innovation thinking in the energy sector,the back ward looking mentality of this administration will certainly be no friend to Tesla.

No doubt, there are forces against Tesla. But Tesla is a US company, designed and made in US. On top of that, it kicks butt of any car from Europe and Asia, even the ones costing 10X the price. That’s pretty compelling reason why Tesla will be ok.

As for those against Tesla, we know some people like to chant “USA! USA!” Tesla does everything that Dump says he wants to do, so he and his supporters should be thrilled with Tesla. Convince them that Tesla as US product is kicking butt, and Tesla has bright future. In fact, you can chastise those against Tesla as traitors!

Something else I read on Forbes is that Dump policy will decrease electricity prices, no doubt from coal and other fossil fuel. That’s a positive news for EV. Though not quite as good as if they come from clean sources, it’s far from EV gloom and doom some have expressed. EVs are better than gassers even with dirty energy.

By the way, here’s an interesting episode. Tesla beating Cobra starts at about 5:15 mark.

Good Video. Tks

Yup. When any granny on Tesla can beat a Cobra, there’s nothing to worry about EV. This is no longer the sole domain of “little old lady from Pasadena” anymore.

I actually saw the turbine car as a kid, 11 years old in Dallas, twice. I suppose they were testing it. It had a whine as it went by.

Consumers won’t see a single penny of savings in any shift back to coal power generation.

First off, any profits will be pocketed by coal and power companies long before the minuscule price difference makes it into consumer’s pockets.

Second off, both natural gas and large scale solar are both cheaper than coal. So if coal power generation does go up, it will actually cost consumers MORE.

Finally, a significant number of Tesla owners already have home solar, so they gain nothing by dirty coal being burned.

If, as you say, Natural Gas and large scale solar are truly cheaper than coal now, then you have nothing to fear. Power generating companies are in business to make a profit, and they won’t go back to coal if it will cost them more.

They aren’t and they won’t, though it may give some more life to aging coal plants which are being shut down, since they are just too costly to continue to operate, due to all the pollution controls you would have to retrofit them with to comply with regulations.

So if Trump and his cronies in Congress decide to rescind anti-pollution measures aimed at coal you could see a resurgence in coal.

If electric generators make more money via cheaper sources, that’s even better. They will promote more electric usage and EV are natural choice. Indeed, this is why SDGE is actively promoting EV: more electric use with their outrageous pricing means more profit for them. It’s better to have big guys fight it out (electric generators vs big oil) than us little people taking on big oil.

If EV are to succeed, they can’t depend on top 1%, which is roughly current crop of Tesla owners. Drive around and you’ll see that home solar in typical area is less than 10%, which is more representative of upcoming Tesla 3 demographic. Whether through lower electric pricing or promotions by bigger profit electric companies, lower energy cost will benefit EV for the masses.

That wasn’t true in the past when EV meant crappy cars, but that isn’t true any more, especially with “made in USA” taking the lead by Tesla and GM. Dissociate EV from green and you will see that EV are going to be more than ok, but inevitable.

There isn’t going to be any shift back toward coal generation. Congress, aided and abetted by a Trump administration, probably will scale back subsidies for “green” energy, but that won’t alter the economic reality that coal can’t compete with cheap natural gas.

Those coal miners who hoped Trump will keep his campaign promise to them are going to be, like a growing number of Americans who foolishly voted for Trump, bitterly disappointed.

“Tesla is a US company, designed and made in US. On top of that, it kicks butt of any car from Europe and Asia”
Problem is, it kicks but of Big Oil US companies. They would rather see Tesla go belly up.

Innovation brings jobs, or wage liabilities, that could have been profits. That’s why the new “we” doesn’t cheer on Tesla. “We” should let Capitalism keep the profits, instead, and not interfere. What you have when Jay’s car companies keep dying, is something closer to an oligopoly. I know how they behave, but maybe “we” need to work on defining oligopoly.

Tesla is pretty smart to go global. Their vehicles are so nice to drive that you don’t want to go back to anything else. So other than avoiding to overextend themselves, I have a hard time seeing them fail because of some backward politicians. In most places they are free and welcome to open as many stores and service centres and superchargers as they require.

This was just reiterated a couple days ago.
When Trump plans to put an OIL man in charge of the Interior; you don’t have to think real hard to know what his attitude about EVs will be.

Some lampooned me a few weeks back when I discussed being verbally accosted over my Model X in the op-ed I wrote up here. Now that the reality is upon us, expect that more of these lunatics will feel vindicated in bashing your EV!

I would like to think that the new status of the USA will empower companies like Tesla and the folks that support them.

When I first drove a base-model Model S three years ago I said “Game over Beemer and Benz, no contest, you lost.™

It’s nice to see hardcore car guy Jay Leno “get it”.

Give it two of three years and the prime offerings by BMW and MB will all be BEVs.

Trump should definetly take a Tesla for a test drive. Maybe he will have a change of heart.

He has no heart to change.

Do you think he wastes time with cars? He has people drive him around.

Only losers drive their own cars.

“Why are you not rooting for it to be successful? We do you wish it would fail? I don’t quite understand that.”

Sure, Republican or Democrats can love Tesla.

But the problem will be the new government’s policy and anti-green energy approach.

Just wait to see who are charged of Dept of Energy, Dept of Interior, EPA, then you will get a better picture.

I hear Jack the Ripper, the Marquis de Sade, and I guess they already lined up a leading climate change denier to head the EPA, are available. Point is these agencies will be either gutted, or drawn and quartered, if you are a fan the infamous Marquis, agencies tortured to recant their belief in wind and solar and worship instead at the altar of oil, natural gas and coal.

If you associate Tesla only with green, Tesla (and all EV) are in deep trouble. But Tesla (and SparkEV) are not just green, but great cars regardless of green credentials. Although Bolt isn’t at top of the game, it’s looking pretty good, and other makers will soon follow: great cars regardless of green cred. That’s why I’m not so worried about EV, unlike the days of old when Zap cars and Leaf were the only options.

This is also why I downplay the green aspect of EV. It’s nice to be green, but to be successful through a-holes like Dump, they have to be great cars first.

I really admire Leno’s passion for historical vehicles; their design, handling, conservation, etc.

Glad to see him using his influence to help the Sven’s of the world, accept and support what Tesla is trying to accomplish: creating sustainable, no-compromise premium vehicles and leading the way for the rest of the world, by example.

lets get tesla 3 out so i can get one NOW

Hello, I think the Tesla is a wonderful car and it is on the top of my list, if I had the money I would buy one in a heart beat. I think they are wonderful cars and I think Elon Musk deserves some sort of award or recognition.
All the best, Edgar

The genie is out of the bottle. Good luck putting it back. Once you drive an EV you see, hear and feel how good they are. Once you charge off your home solar installation you appreciate how cheap they are. How awesome is it to go down hill and watch the battery being charged? Makes you feel pretty special that you are getting something for free.

Regardless of climate change, these are facts of EV’s. More people are becoming aware of this, cheaper options are becoming available. When an EV is as cheap as a comparable ICE, then it will really change purchase behaviour.

Some people will still have a big V8 in the shed for nostalgic driving, just like some people still have model T and steam engines, but the daily driver will become the nicest, most comfortable and cheapest vehicle. Unless he really destroys the American economy, I don’t think Tump will make any difference to this progress. And if he does screw up then the people will vote someone else in to clean up the mess. Hey, he only has two terms in any case ?

Well stated Jason. Many here seem to feel that in order to embrace one choice, you must hate the other choice. That is a false premise, and it only divides people. I am a conservative who happily owns a Chevy Volt and v8 Silverado, and I am rooting for Tesla. I like clean air and clean water, but I also support the fossil fuel industry, and support renewable energy. I plan to buy a Chevy Bolt. These things are not mutually exclusive.

True, but you are representative of the current administrations mind set.
1. There is no global warming it’s a hoax.
2. Allowing, promoting, use of federal lands to drill for oil.
3. Business views over environmental views in every case.

I conclude the coming administration will be no friend of the environment and by extension no friend of the various industries that benefit from current laws because they damage the environment less, and do not contribute to global warming. But there is not need to favor these companies since there is no such thing as warming.

See how it works. First you deny there is a problem and then say look we have no need for all these rules and regulations to prevent something that is not real.

No matter that in the northern tier of states we are still in the longest growing season in recorded history, the arctic melting, etc…

I meant you are NOT representative, sorry.

Agreed, except that Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 are definitely mutually exclusive. As long as GM lobbies against and blocks sales of Tesla cars in states like Michigan, there is no way my friends and family would buy a Bolt (no matter how good or cheaper) over a Model 3. If GM were to recognize that it’s only hurting itself and the real innovators that America needs, it would do itself a favour. BTW, I don’t remember any instance of Trump stating his opposition to EVs, apart from our own inferences – at some point he too will have to go with the tide – this election victory and his unconventional campaign shows that if nothing else he is a smart strategist who can seize the opportunity when it presents itself.

Arnold Gordon said:

“…Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 are definitely mutually exclusive.”

What, if you put both in a garage they’ll fight each other? “There can be only one”?

Nope, and nope. In fact, unless GM ramps up production of the Bolt much faster than they’ve signaled they’re going to, there won’t be any competition between the two cars for at least two years. Chevy will sell as many Bolts as it makes, probably as many as they can make given limited battery supply from LG Chem; and Tesla will sell every Model ≡ it can possibly crank out.

Only when production of both cars has been cranked up quite a bit will it be at all meaningful to talk about competition between the two.

And speaking for myself, I think both cars are compelling EVs which will find many happy owners. Here’s hoping that GM will build its own battery factories, so it will actually be able to challenge Tesla for volume production of long-range BEVs!

Well said, Jason!

Economic forces trump even political ones. (For example, economic forces caused the collapse of the Soviet Union.) The economic tide flows inevitably toward EVs, not gasmobiles. The Trumpians may slow the EV revolution, but even they cannot stop it.

Exactly my thoughts, I am Citizen of US, and I love this country more than many Americans natives, they hate American products, they cheers for Chinese supremacy and specially hate that another American can be successful. I got Tesla bc is the best and is proudly made in USA.

Iti sthe massive oil lobby of course.

“Give the oil lobby the finger” by buying a Tesla or other electric car!

I could not afford a Tesla but I did get an EV from another manufacturer and driving by gas stations the last two years with index finger in the appropriate position feels awesome!

I am hopeful, if no longer so confident, that Tesla can weather the coming storm of the Trumpian years. Unlike many, I really think that Tesla cars can successfully compete even without subsidies. They really are that good.

If the Trumpians make life too difficult for Tesla in the USA, I’m sure there are other countries which would welcome the company with open arms.

I think our EV revolution is skating on thin ice.
The results of the election are about as good as it gets for the FF industry.
Chump said he would invest in infrastructure. How about a hydrogen infrastructure using tax payer money to pay for it.
Now with hydrogen infrastructure in place,
the FF energy companies will retain control
of our government and our wallets.
I think Chump is going to bend over backwards for all the FF players.

Trump is likely to undo the EPA completely, remove the tax credit for EVs… and let coal burners stay on the grid for 4 more years. Disgustingly short sighted policy is coming. Better buy and not lease if you like driving EVs.