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WOUK, VICTOR (1919-2004).

Electrical engineer. Considered the father of electric and hybrid cars.

The child of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Wouk is the brother of novelist, Herman Wouk.

After attending Columbia University, he received his  Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, which contains his archives. During World War II, he worked on the Manhattan Project, developing the nuclear bomb. After the war, he established and sold two electrical companies.

Wouk was a pioneer in developing and standardizing electrical and hybrid cars. Along with his colleague Charles Rosen, they created the first full-power, full-size hybrid car in 1972. Although their prototype exceeded the the EPA’s Clean Car Incentive Program’s standards, the EPA refused to produce or support the vehicle. It was not until 1997 that the first commercially produced hybrid car was released. It relied on Wouk’s principles and innovations.

Wouk was a philanthropist, and was a board member of the 92nd Street Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association, a chairman of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, and a supporter of the Yeshiva University. He was also active in the New York Academy of Science and various technical committees.

Although he personally was not very religious, he regularly attended an Orthodox synagogue with his family.

In 2005 he was posthumously awarded the Elmer A. Sperry Award for Advancing the Art of Transportation.

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