If you don’t think electric cars will eventually take the place of gasoline cars, then you should consider driving a modern EV or looking more closely at the world’s climate problem. If you’ve already done those, and you’re still not convinced, maybe take it from Jay Leno—a man with a huge garage filled with mostly gasoline-powered automobiles. He too thinks EVs are the future.
While discussing his show Jay Leno’s Garage with CNBC, Jay Leno—whose enormous collection of old automobiles is not exactly known for its environmental cleanliness—gave his thoughts on the future of electric cars.
“Electric is the future,” he told the host in the video below, before going on to say that he thinks cars with internal combustion engines will become a rarity in the near future.
“I predict a child born today probably has as much chance of driving in a gas car as people today have driving a car with a stick shift. They’ll still be around, there’s just not many of them,” he said.
Leno then heaped praise on his Tesla, which he’s owned for three years, and to which he says he’s had to do no maintenance. “For a new technology to succeed, it can’t be equal, it’s gotta be better,” he stated, discussing how EVs now offer lots of range, much simpler maintenance regimens than ICE cars, and great performance.
Then came a quote I never thought I’d hear from a man with as much gasoline flowing through his veins as Jay Leno:
“There’s almost no reason to have a gas car, unless you’re doing long haul duty.”
That’s a bold statement, and obviously an oversimplification, since there are still problems with infrastructure beyond those associated with long-haul trips, and EVs are rather expensive, especially compared to the used ICE market. Plus, I personally think ICEs are more engaging to drive, and there are lots of awesome gas-powered cars out there that drip with a level of soul that no modern EV can offer.
Nonetheless, Jay’s point is that EVs have become so good that their widespread adoption seems inevitable, and I agree, even if I don’t quite think ICE cars will become as rare as a stick shift in the next 20-ish years.
Automakers have been working hard on their electrification strategies, with Volkswagen essentially betting the farm on EVs with its new MEB platform, Subaru and Toyota teaming up on their own dedicated EV platform, and Honda designing its own electric bones. BMW plans to adapt its Cluster architecture to accommodate electric cars with new, slim batteries, and Ford intends to use VW’s MEB architecture for its own electric vehicles. (Obviously we need a more robust charging network too—something these other companies should take Tesla’s cue on.)
EVs are good, automakers are working hard to build them, and governments are stepping in to push the technology to help with both climate change and smog reduction. This is important, since legislation (particularly EV incentives and restrictions on ICEs such as steep gas taxes or outright bans) has been a key catalyst for EV adoption, particularly in China, but also in Europe and the U.S.
As election season marches on in the U.S., numerous candidates are talking about ways to help mitigate world’s climate change problem, and one solution that keeps being brought up is electrification of automobiles. I can’t say with certainty that politicians will enact legislation that pushes electric cars into the mainstream and slows the adoption of ICE cars in the next couple of years, but I do think that it will happen in time.
Leno and I both love gasoline-powered cars, but the EV train has already started moving, and even if there are still a number of issues that need to be solved, it’s clear that it isn’t stopping.