Jay Leno loves cars, he loves speed and he loves finding alternative energy that gives his cars a lot of speed. So despite falling in love with the new Aston Martin Vanquish according to an auto news report posted on Feb. 12, 2013, by Auto Week magazine, as a car guy he’s still green. Leno still works daily at having the greatest eco-friendly car collection for years with a goal of showing the world that an alternative fuel vehicle does not have to be a sluggish, boring box on wheels.
In a column he once wrote for Popular Mechanics, titled “Jay Leno’s Green Garage”, he explained his passion for cars by saying, “Whether it’s a high-tech wind turbine, a vintage generator that runs on coal gas or a restored steam engine, I’m fascinated by alternative power sources and fuels. I’m also interested in powerful cars that are fun to drive. Hey, I’m a car guy first, environmentalist second–what can I say? There’s grease in my veins.”
Regarding his investment grade eco-friendly auto collection, Leno actually owns one of the earliest “hybrid” vehicles. It’s an Owen Magnetic hybrid that ran with a 24-volt generator and an electric traction motor. The crankshaft of a 75-hp gas engine was attached to the generator to send power to the rear wheels.
To that end, while he gives the gas guzzling Vanquish stellar reviews from a design perspective, he’s still a green car guy.
During the 1960s he bought one of the nine original turbine cars from Chrysler. He still drives a 1963 Chrysler turbine car that was built 45 years ago.
In 2009, he discussed how he built his EcoJet high performance turbine supercar in 2009. Leno stuck to his goal of not using any animal-sourced products. As a result, even the interior was made from recyclable materials like a man-made suede called Alcantara.
[Alcantera is used in many luxury and exotic cars like Ferraris and Lamborghinis as headliner material.]
He built EcoJet to run on B100 biodiesel from Seattle Biodiesel and Jet A fuel. The car starts on jet fuel and switches to B100 when on the road. Then it’s back to jet fuel for the shutdown.
The car was inspired at the 2002 Cadillac Cien show car and has elements of the 1950s Firebird jet cars designed by legend Harley Earl.
He also has a 2006 Corvette Z06 that runs on E85 ethanol, a cleaner burning alternative to gasoline. The car pulls 600 hp, has a top speed of 208 mph.
In his car guy column, he plainly stateds his philosophy about ethanol as an alternative fuel. Leno writes, “I know ethanol isn’t the only answer to our fuel needs. But it’s a start. The more alternatives to gasoline we have-you know, cars that run on E85, natural gas or hydrogen fuel cells–the less foreign oil we will consume in the long run.”
Go green cars, Jay. And keep up the good work promoting the mass production of, sales, and daily driver use of environmentally responsible automobiles…. because after all, we should not have to have the net worth of a star celeb to drive socially responsible automobiles.