Ford has filed a patent application for what appears to be a bed-mounted gasoline range extender for electric pickup trucks. While an electric Ford F-150 is scheduled to go on sale in mid-2022, it’s unclear if it will get this feature.
First spotted by The Drive, the application is for “electrified vehicles with removable and interchangeable range-extending generators.” It was submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in April 2018, and published on September 15.
Drawings accompanying the patent applications show a box-shaped generator unit—containing a small engine, fuel tank, control electronics and exhaust system—that would go in the bed of a pickup truck. The generator would plug into the truck using connectors similar to those used for charging stations.
Automakers often file patent applications to protect ideas they have no intention of using in the near term, and that may be the case here.