April 27, 1919|
New York, NY
|Died||May 19, 2005
New York, NY
|Alma mater||California Institute of Technology, Columbia University|
|Known for||Pioneer in the development of electric and hybrid vehicles|
Life and career
Victor Wouk, the brother of writer Herman Wouk, was born in New York City in 1919. He got his bachelor's degree from Columbia University in 1939 and graduated in 1942 as PhD from the California Institute of Technology with a thesis titled Static electricity generated during the distribution of gasolene.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Wouk got involved in electric and hybrid vehicles; he successfully converted a Buick Skylark vehicle with a 20-kilowatt direct-current electric motor and an RX-2 Mazda rotary engine. This vehicle was tested at the Environmental Protection Agency's emissions-testing laboratories in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where it obtained more than twice the fuel economy of the vehicle before it was converted. Furthermore, the vehicle's emission rates were only about 9 percent of those of a gasoline powered car from that era. This pioneer work gained him the nickname of the grandfather of electric and hybrid vehicles in the United States. Even though they were not a new idea, hybrid vehicles would in fact only appear on the market by the late 1990s.
Wouk was also actively involved in the field of electric vehicle standardization, participating in relevant technical committees such as the IEC TC69 and the ISO TC22 SC21 on electric vehicles. He remained an active member of these committees until the early 2000s.
Victor Wouk died on May 19, 2005, in his New York home. He is survived by his wife Joy, and sons Jonathan and Jordan.
- "The Great Hybrid Car Cover-up of '74". hybridCARS.com. Retrieved 2006-10-12.
- "Godfather of the Hybrid". Engineering & Science. California Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2006-01-11.
- The Papers of Victor Wouk "The Papers of Victor Wouk". Caltech.
- Caltech Institute Archives Victor Wouk Exhibit
- Victor Wouk, "Hybrid Electric Vehicles", Scientific American 1997-10, p70-74
- Victor Wouk: The Father of the Hybrid Car (Children's book)