Jay Leno is a massive car fan, and also has more than a little influence in the media. That's why he gets to drive the Tesla before we do, and that's why the Times asked him to write up a review of the electric roadster. But we're not bitter.
Previous electric cars hadn't impressed Leno, "The problem with electric cars up to this point is what I call the veggie burger syndrome. When they came out with the veggie burger they made it look like a hamburger, which was disappointing because it doesn’t taste anything like a hamburger. It had been the same with electric cars until this point."Bizarrely he claims that his hundred year old electric car is as advanced as some recent predecessors of the Tesla, "I love electric cars. One of the favorites in my garage is my 1909 Baker Electric car. But in the 98 years since that car was made, battery technology and therefore electric car technology has not changed a huge amount."
I think that the technology has changed, but I see his point - the range of his 100 year old car and the Tesla are similar. But his car couldn't do 0-60mph in four seconds. Electric car technology hasn't had the same research budget as gas cars, but that is starting to change, and the Tesla is one result of that. He does go on to say that he'd be interested in buying one, but from a man who already owns millions of dollars worth of cars I'm not sure how much of an accolade that is. ::The Times