The world is still buzzing about the upcoming 2023 Ford F-150 Electric, with this model promising to be the quickest and most powerful F-150 ever produced by the company. The EV is also a game changer for Ford’s broader line, with the company investing heavily into its iconic Rouge Truck Plant to prepare it for the start of production. However, range anxiety still remains a top concern, and it appears that the company could have found a solution for that, if a recently unearthed patent is to be believed.
First discovered by The Drive the patent in question was first submitted back in April of 2018, but was only just published earlier in September. As for the patent itself, it appears to show a gasoline powered range extender, which would theoretically expand the range the truck would be able to cover in the event the truck’s batteries run out of juice. The bed mounted extender is compact, and is mounted in the bed where it has a resemblance to an exterior mounted toolbox. The unit was also designed to be swappable which could hint at a reasonable amount of mobility being baked into the design. One of the leaked sketches even shows how it would be laid out, but being a patent, it does not offer much meat in regards to how it would mesh with the EV’s futuristic hardware.
The lone exception is a block of text in the patent that states “the operating specifications of the engine are design specific and can be selected to provide a desired electrical energy output.” That loosely translates into an extender that could perhaps be used with multiple engines, but what could power such a thing? The Drive’s report does remind people that the smallest engine in Ford’s roster is the 1.0 liter EcoBoost three cylinder, but we highly doubt that the 125 horsepower it provides will cut the mustard in a vehicle as big as an F-150. Instead, we suspect that an equally compact but slightly beefier four cylinder will fulfill that particular role.
However, there are still more questions that need to be answered about the F-150 EV. For instance, we still do not how much horsepower the electric components make, and its sprint to 60 mph is an unknown figure at this stage of the game. With Ford proudly proclaiming these traits, it’s hard to see the range extender being used on more performance focused variants, but it could perhaps be used on other EV models that are tailor made towards enhancing functionality at the expense of some raw speed.
We would have to wait a bit to find out, since the truck is not going on sale for two more years. But in the meantime, we can take solace in enjoying the F-150 Hybrid which embarks on its own fuel saving journey, and will arrive in dealerships sooner.