Toyota Executive and Hybrid Mastermind David W. Hermance Passes Away in Plane Crash

November 29th, 2006 by William

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On November 25, David W. Hermance was involved in a fatal airplane crash after performing aerobatic maneuvers in his plane off the coast of San Pedro, California. Hermance was Toyota’s top North American engineer for advanced technology vehicles. He was also a staunch environmental advocate and one of the pioneers of hybrid vehicle technology for Toyota. David Hermance career spanned four decades and included long stints with both General Motors and Toyota. Aside from being an outstanding engineer he was known for his ability to break down the complexities of hybrid systems into easy to understand terms and his ability to communicate with the public about all issues relating to hybrid vehicles.

My condolences go out to the family, friends and co-workers of Mr. Hermance. The industry has lost a brilliant man.

For a complete story please view: NY Times

-Bill Mertz

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One Response to “Toyota Executive and Hybrid Mastermind David W. Hermance Passes Away in Plane Crash”

  1. Mr Toad Says:

    I’ve read a few articles on the death of Mr. Hermance–the auto industry certainly will miss his contributions to the green-car movement.

    Just a quick note–while Hermance was a central player in getting the Prius and other hybrids into the American market, Toyota’s (now-retired) Takehisa Yaegashi should also be mentioned in any article that discusses the birth of the Prius. Yaegashi’s work on the hybrid hardware and production methods made the system a reality. Hermance’s equally important role was introducing that system into the automotive mainstream.

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About William

I am a twenty something car enthusiast. I spend most of my days working in a small restoration shop in Northern California that specializes in vintage Alfa Romeos. I also manage to do some freelance writing for a handful of automotive publications. When I'm not at the shop I can usually be found working on one of my own project cars, out driving on a good windy road or good jeep trail. Despite what my girlfriend says cars aren't what defines me, they are only what I do. When I have a chance I also love to go camping, play sports or generally do any type of outdoor activity. I don't take myself to seriously, so I hope you don't either.

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