November 16, 2020
With an electric version of the popular F-150 truck set for future release, Driving.ca has reported that Ford has filed for patent protection of a gasoline-powered range extender.
The toolbox-shaped device would provide back-up for a vehicle’s electric motor in the event that the battery runs out. This would effectively turn the vehicle into a hybrid, which would allow it to run on gas if the driver is not near a charging station or does not have time to wait for the electric battery to charge.
The shape of the range extender mimics the standard F-150 bed-mounted toolbox, meaning that most consumers would not notice the difference between an electric vehicle and the traditional gas-powered version. The range extender may look inconspicuous, but it includes a motor, fuel system, exhaust, and electrical wiring that allows it to connect to the truck.
With this functionality, an electric vehicle becomes more versatile for use in everyday life. However, it is unclear whether Ford will make use of this patent, as the details of an electric F-150 have yet to be confirmed.
As Driving.ca notes, this is not the first time that this type of hybrid technology has been used to make an electric vehicle more user-friendly. The BMW i3 contains similar technology, which allows a small motor to charge the electric vehicle's batteries in lieu of a standard plug.
Authors: Jaclyn Tilak and Sasha Seeber