Ford patent drawings hint at range extender for electric F-150 truck

It's no secret at all that Ford has a fully electric F-150 in the works. As with any electric vehicle, one of the critical facts to its popularity and sales numbers will be its driving range. While many people who own pickups use them as daily transportation, there are a number of people out there who work from their trucks. Any range limitation that can't be remedied in a time similar to how long it takes to refill a fuel tank is a problem.

An interesting patent application has turned up with Ford's name on it that appears to hint the automaker is working on a gas-powered range-extending generator that would fit into the back of the electric pickups cargo bed. The patent drawings were submitted to the United States Trademark and Patent Office in April 2018 and then published on September 15 this year.

The patent is titled "Electrified vehicles with a removable and interchangeable range-extending generators." The patent describes a range extender that looks like a toolbox and fits into the truck's bed similarly. Documents also suggest that there would be different models that could add more or less range to the vehicle.

The patent also shows the connections that would be used to connect the range extender to the vehicle's power system. One thing that remains a mystery is exactly what sort of engine Ford would use inside the range extender pack. Currently, even its smallest engines are still quite large for something along these lines.

Presumably, Ford would need to either build a very small engine or source one from a supplier. The patent doesn't mention exactly how much the range would be extended using these range extending devices. It's also unclear if the range extender would provide enough power to drive as long as owners want as long as the generator's motor is filled with gas.