- Ford's patent diagrams for the EV range extender. Images stitched together courtesy of The Drive.

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.

MT Blake posted in USA News
25w ago
19.8K

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!

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Comments (26)

  • "Range extender?" No. It's a joke, well it certainly has all the ingredients to be a joke! It's a box with a petrol generator in it. I mean... a PETROL GENERATOR! You might as well have gone, "Stuff it, I'm getting the socking great V8 and to heck with EVs!" A well made EV does not need, nor require, or in any other way need a so-called 'range extender' Just as with a spare can of petrol, you can get a small battery pack as a 'get me to the nearest charger' method. The point is though, how many of us run our car dry? Nobody is who. We top up with twenty quid's worth of petrol and carry on going until we get to about a quarter of a tank, then another twenty goes in it. Filling your car to the brim is expensive and most of us don't do that either. EVs, when treated similarly, charge up that middle bit pretty darned quickly on a fast charger en route, or you can top them off overnight if you can get an extension lead to the thing while you're fast asleep. Monster Truck owners in the States are so used to their ridiculous car shaped lorry's dire fuel consumption, that they cannot conceive that an EV version would be just fine without carrying spare energy. At some level, this also speaks volumes about Ford's commitment to EV technology and trust in their battery suppliers. For those rare situations where EVs are just not suitable, you wouldn't even consider buying one... you would KNOW you had to go 1500miles between fill ups and get a diesel powered vehicle until battery power could meet your expectations.

      5 months ago
    • If this patent was found on April Fools we’d certainly get the joke. With battery technology getting better everyday, we might end up seeing a lot of range extenders with clogged fuel injectors and bad gas due to lack of use. Think of it more of...

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        5 months ago
    • We are all of us, living at the very end of the ICE era (internal combustion engine). Wear your ICE vehicle out or sell it to some other shmuck before it's worth bugger all in a few year's time. I'm going to sell my 2-stroke Trabant to someone or...

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        5 months ago
  • So basically they want to use the electric motor, which drains energy from the battery, to charge the battery.

    No thanks I'll buy a Prius in that case.

      5 months ago
  • Interesting. Aftermarket will quickly make toolboxes to fit around such a device. Could be something here. 🤔

      5 months ago
    • You draw up the patents and I’ll finance the product. Get rich quick scheme right here!

        5 months ago
    • It comes in the box, ready to sit in the load area. Quite why you'd want or need one on the next generation of EV trucks, I cannot imagine. The new trucks, due out soon, are all mega-milers with big enough batteries for you to plug in mains voltage...

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        5 months ago
  • But whats generating the electricitiy

      5 months ago
    • The highly throttled back, emissions controlled, 50cc gasoline engine producing a maximum of 4 horses.

        5 months ago
    • Petrol. It's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist... like a mini washing machine for paper clips.

        5 months ago
  • Excellent idea!

      5 months ago
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