A recent patent application revealed that Ford is looking to introduce another new feature to the upcoming generation of the electric F-150 pickup. Based on the documents, it could potentially extend the range of the vehicle beyond what the battery offers.
It’s unheard of in the segment, but not entirely impossible if we’re talking about Ford. After all, the automaker has every reason to increase the EV’s selling power, considering it’s the well-loved F-150 nameplate on the line.
According to a report published by The Drive, the Blue Oval recently submitted a patent application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In the documents, some images show the upcoming electric F-150 featuring a range-extending engine.
While most EVs rely on their respective batteries to extend their range, the application reveals that Ford is looking to make the so-called range extender act like a generator to send more juice to the battery until vehicle is plugged into a charger.
The extender looks like a toolbox that houses the engine, exhaust system, fuel tank, as well all the associated electronics. But what’s worth noting, too, is the possibility that Ford will make a larger and a smaller pack available to customers, likely offering an additional 50 miles, 100 miles, and possibly more.
However, the report and application do not reveal what kind of engine will power the range extender. With the setup, a small engine is necessary but it remains to be seen whether Ford will outsource the part from a supplier or have its engineers come up with something in-house.
Asked about the range extender, the automaker declined to make an official comment. Instead, the company said patents are nothing but a “normal course of business” and do not always translate to actual products.
If it turns out to be true, though, interested buyers can only wait until Ford makes an official announcement. For now, customers can channel their attention to the upcoming 2021 Bronco SUV and the next generation of the regular F-150.