Figure 1 is just a basic diagram of how the system would work, while 2-3 shows where the generator would go in the bed. Note that Figure 3 shows a range-extending pack of several different sizes, hinting at different models that may offer more or less added range. Figures 5-7 describe the sort of electrical connections the brand would use to join the range extender and the truck’s EV powertrain.
One of the more interesting drawings to go along with the patent is Figure 4, as it describes what the inside of one of these packs would actually look like.
In this layout, most of the pack is taken up by the engine, but that raises the question of what sort of engine would be used for the swappable, range-extending generators. The smallest engine Ford makes is its 1.0-liter EcoBoost, which is still big by range-extender standards. With three cylinders and 123 horsepower, it would be overkill. BMW’s range extender in its i3 compact, for instance, is a 650cc twin-cylinder scooter engine producing only 34 horsepower.
The Drive has yet to find any other patent documents relating to such a small engine in development. It’s possible that Ford hasn’t posted any patents for it, or that it will approach an outside company to engineer it for them. Other Ford patent documents related to range extenders do not specifically cite gasoline as the fuel, either. A range-extender like this could theoretically be fueled by diesel, a high-alcohol gasoline mixture like E85, or even a hydrogen fuel cell.
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