Ford sneakily patents an EV truck range extender that looks like a toolbox
Ford appears to be giving us a range extender we've all been desiring to slow the descent into the EV universe.
I may not be a smart man. But I know a good idea when I see it. An in-bed EV range-extending generator? This is a good idea. It is the idea we all thought about years ago - when the best an electric car could do is get you half a short commute to the light rail station in the morning for work. I could frankly use the short jog the rest of the way.
One of the main criticisms we will hear (have heard and will continue to hear) about electric vehicles is the lack of range. The numbers are far better than they were five years ago and leaps-and-bounds better than they were fifteen years ago. But still, in any unforgiving moment, people want the freedom to drive from sun up to sundown to wherever they choose.
To slow the descent into the EV universe, Ford has decided to best tackle range anxiety by patenting an in-bed range extender. As reported by The Drive and covered by Motortrend as well, someone was able to find Ford's attempt to give electric F-150 owners all the freedom they need.
This range extender appears to be a generator conveniently stuffed into a box in the truck bed. Such a conventional place, I doubt if anyone will notice it's even there. I'd bet most people will think the box contains ratchet straps, a couple of empty yellowjacket cans, random rusty hand tools, maybe a few blocks of wood for choking tires - you know, pickup toolbox stuff.
Range extenders might be the social-lubricant we need to get the 'good old boys' into electric pickups. I mean hell, it's still a pickup. That gun rack for the thirty-aught-six will still fit. Ford won't need to invest as much in charging stations when they can sell you a range extender. Being placed in the bed of the truck, I sure hope they figure out how to make sure they don't walk away like everything else unsecured in a truck bed.
The argument for electrification is a complication one as you all well know. Gasoline still provides the greatest amount of energy pound for pound. And it's cheap. It's reliable and familiar. We're at a crossroads in history - we can either influence the market to our desires or have it shoved down our throat.
I'd rather have the electric pickup truck I want rather than the one I'm forced to buy. Extending the range of our current technology provides us with the means to go further on less. I can't wait to see the hopped up hotrod range extenders in the beds of pickups. I know many of you would love to be the first to have a supercharged range extender in the bed of your pickup!