Wouk Advocates Hybrid Electric
By Lisa Kitayama
have thought that a bus ride down Riverside Drive on the M5 might
represent one of the best answers to the environmental and energy
dilemmas of the traditional automobile?
years after its inception, the hybrid electric vehicle, which is
powered by both an internal combustion engine and an electric
battery generator, can be found (though only rarely) on New York
City bus routes. His widely viewed by proponents as the prototype
for future automobiles.
Wouk '39, a consultant and lecturer on this concept, has spent
the past 30 years advocating the benefits of this hybrid vehicle.
The HEV is attractive because it releases fewer pollutants and
requires less fuel than an automobile with a traditional internal
combustion engine. It also addresses the short-range limitations of
an electric vehicle by enabling longer road trips. But the use of
HEV remains low in the public and private sphere, even in large
cities such as New York, which currently operates a total of five
traveling itinerary is comprehensive, Wouk returned to Morningside
Heights last April at the request of Professor Vijay Modi to
present a lecture at SEAS that was sponsored by the mechanical
engineering department and the ASME student chapter. Wouk came away
from his lecture impressed by the intelligence of the students'
questions, and stressed the importance of further studies of this
topic by students.
Modi, the department hopes to continue to offer both graduate and
undergraduate level courses on this topic due to high student
interest. Modi noted that interest in alternative forms of energy
and the HEV encompasses disciplines ranging beyond engineering,
including international affairs and environmental