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Jay Leno's Vintage Green Cars (VIDEO)

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Think green cars are a relatively recent invention? Take a stroll through Jay Leno's 17,000 square foot garage in Southern California (or just watch the video below) and you'll see that drivers have been powering cars with electricity, steam, even magnets for over 100 years now.

In this week's episode of GigaOM TV's Green Overdrive Series, Jay showed off his collection of some of the earliest versions of green cars, like the 1906 Baker electric car, the 1916 Owen Magnetic and the 1925 steam-powered Doble.

Shockingly, some of these environmentally-friendly antique rides have roughly the same 100-mile range as modern-day EVs. Which, as Jay points out, is perhaps why gasoline took off as the fuel of choice and demand for electric vehicles is, after all these years, still sputtering.

Here's Leno:

"Electricity is like an animal -- you put it in a box and it either dies or escapes. If you put a battery on a shelf full, it comes back in two months and it's half full. Where'd the electricity go? You put a gallon of gasoline in a jar, seal it and come back in a month -- you still have a gallon of gasoline."

Watch the full video below -- and check out GigaOM TV's Green Overdrive Series:

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