Larry E. Hall, About.com’s editor for Hybrid Cars & Alternative Fuels, has written about cars and the automotive industry for more than twenty-five years, with a focus on “green” cars and advanced technology vehicles.
Larry’s interest and passion for automobiles began at age 7, cleaning engine parts for his father, a fleet manager for a regional bakery in Iowa. Together, during the next ten years, they built three custom hot rods with a goal of what might seem to be an oxymoron — making them as fuel efficient as possible.
This early quest for fuel economy was a major influence when Larry made a career change in 1988 and became an automotive scribe. After building an automotive newspaper syndication that included major metropolitan cities, he moved to the Web as the Alternative Fuels Correspondent for MSN Autos and contributed to MSNBC.com. He drove the first Toyota Prius brought to the U.S. at EVS 14 (Electric Vehicle Symposium) in 1997, and was privileged to be the second person outside of General Motors to drive the Hy-wire fuel cell vehicle in Fréjus, France. In 2009 he became the Senior Editor of HybridCars.com, the Internet’s premier Web site dedicated to hybrid gas-electric cars and the full spectrum of alternative fuel vehicles. The following year, the team at HybridCars.com launched PluginCars.com, the Web’s leading authority on the electrification of the automobile. He is the founding president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association and a long time member of the Motor Press Guild.
Larry lives and drives in Olympia, Washington with his wife, Lynne, who is also his editor, occasional co-author, and infamous for stating to car companies, “I now know more about cars than I ever wanted to.” (She actually does know a lot about cars.)
Larry's knowledge pool of automotive technology began while helping his dad service a fleet of trucks in Iowa. By 1959 he had helped rebuild three cars. He attended East Los Angeles Junior College and Florida State University with the goal of becoming a History teacher. Those dreams faded with the arrival of his first child, but then doors opened to a career in the consumer electronics industry.
After a three year stint with Magnavox, Larry was recruited by the then new-to-the-U.S. Sanyo Electric where he became vice president of marketing and sales of the Automotive Sound Division. A yen to market his expertise and skills prompted establishing a consulting business in Seattle, Washington. In 1985 he met and became fast friends with Chris Brubaker, Automotive Editor at the Seatlle Post Intellingencer. The friendship rekindled Larry's love of all things automotive, and with encouragement from Chris, began his career as an Automotive Journalist. His interest in fuel economy led to curiosity about the new fuel alternatives being developed. Over the past 25 years he has become an alternative fuel expert with a reputation for asking questions and thorough research.
These are exciting times in the history of the automobile, which for more than 100 years has developed a whole world around petroleum. But the clock is ticking on petroleum-based transportation as automakers around the world are working on technologies that lead us away from dead dinosaurs as the fuel that propels our vehicles. Gas-electric hybrids, battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are here now and, believe it or not, fuel cell vehicles will be here soon. None of these are a “silver bullet” solution, but each plays a role in the solution to improve fuel economy, reduce harmful emissions and improve our energy security. Added to this mix, diesel fuel is cleaner, compressed natural gas (CNG) could have a role and biofuels research continues. Wherever this ongoing automotive experiment takes us, About.com’s Hybrid Cars & Alternative Fuels will give you a front-row seat and present it in words you can understand.