The Tesla Roadster made its Jay Leno’s Garage debut thirteen years ago.
People nowadays are no longer surprised by the fact that EVs are “eerily quiet,” or the fact that “you get full torque from zero rpm.” We’ve come to expect this from modern EVs, but back in 2008, the idea of a high performance EV that could outaccelerate most gasoline burning cars was just being developed.
Jay Leno looks back at when he drove the first Tesla Roadster, accompanied by Elon Musk. Back then, Jay was not the advocate for electrification that he is today, but that day may very well be the one that embedded the idea in his mind.
Unlike Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, who mocked the Tesla Roadster during its appearance on the show, Jay was far more balanced in approaching the car. He also points out that the footage in the video, shot 13 years ago, was never shown on his channel - it’s truly a time capsule from a time when Elon had just sold PayPal and was just getting started with Tesla when perception of EVs was quite different to what we see today (EV skepticism was the norm back then).
The video is well worth a watch and it really puts just how far EVs have come since then into perspective.