The most famous car collector in the world is Jay Leno. Comedian and retired Tonight Show host, Jay Leno, owns 286 vehicles all-told. He is the patron saint of quirky, seemingly unlovable examples of the internal combustion engine. He has also restored some of the largest gas-guzzlers ever made. Recently, he revealed the Jay Leno daily driver. You may be surprised to learn Jay Leno has been daily driving electric vehicles for a decade.
Jay Leno bought a 2011 Chevy Volt For his daily driver
After ordering a Chevy Volt, Jay Leno took delivery of his hybrid on December 12th, 2010. The little plug-in hybrid offered a forty-mile electric range before its gasoline motor had to kick in. But, here’s the rub, Leno rarely drove forty miles in a day.
Every day of 2011, the Tonight Show Host drove from his home in Burbank to his studio. Many days he stopped by the garage where he keeps his car collection. He figured his daily driving averaged thirty-five miles.
In November 2011, Leno told the New York Times that the Chevy Volt was his daily driver. He revealed that he had yet to burn through a tank of gas. Chevrolet had delivered the car with a full 9.3-gallon tank; Leno figured, “I’ve used less than half of it.”
Though Leno collects antiques, he can appreciate modern innovation. He said he was happy with his Chevy Volt, especially the interior and integrated technology. Leno concluded, “It’s a real breakthrough.” The experience sold him on an electric car. But as times changed, Leno sought an upgrade.
Leno upgraded to a 2015 Tesla Model S P90D
When Jay Leno finally decided to upgrade his Chevy Volt, he bought a Tesla Model S from his local dealer in Burbank. He ordered his Tesla loaded with a range upgrade, lifetime supercharging, autopilot, smart air suspension, and the “Ludicrous” speed upgrade.
Leno admitted that his Tesla cost a lot upfront–$140,200 total–but cost him nearly nothing in maintenance for six years. He pointed out that it needed no fluid changes or dealer maintenance. He added that even brakes last a long time because the Tesla uses regenerative braking to slow down. Leno even researched the best way to care for a car battery and kept his Tesla charged to between 80% and 90% of its capacity.
The high-speed Ludicrous mode featured 762 available horsepower for a zero to 60 mph time of 2.8 seconds. Leno gloated, “You just press Ludicrous mode and–BOOM–you’re there.”
Leno upgraded to 21″ wheels and a premium interior. He was happy with the craftsmanship of his Tesla. He experienced “no creaks or rattles or any of that kind of stuff” in a half-decade of ownership. Overall he said, “I’m impressed.” He has become a vocal champion of the startup, Jay Leno is the best friend Tesla could ask for.
When Doug Demuro visited Leno’s garage, he reported that the TV star was indeed daily driving the Model S. Leno put just 23,000 miles on his Tesla. In 2021, Jay Leno sold his Tesla Model S to make room for another electric vehicle upgrade.
Leno set a world record in the 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid
In 2021, Jay Leno upgraded to a 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid. He ordered his new Model S in the same midnight blue as his 2015 car; from the outside, you might not even know he had upgraded. But from the driver’s seat, the change is be obvious.
The 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid is rated at 1,020 horsepower with a zero to 60 mph time of 2.01 seconds. During a test drive, Leno attempted to set the production car quarter-mile record. He was able to lay down an incredible time of 9.247 seconds. As a result, Jay Leno set a 1/4-mile world record in the Model S Plaid.
After a decade of electric car daily drivers, Jay Leno is a convert. But when asked if he thought everyone would be lining up for an electric daily driver he said, “It takes a while for people to come around.”