A recent patent application from Ford has been made public, offering an unconventional solution to extend the driving range of electric vehicles (EVs).
Released by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on June 8, 2023, and initially submitted on December 8, 2021, the application bears the title “Electrified Vehicle Roof-Mounted Battery Backup.” The title aptly describes the innovation in question.
The initial illustration features an SUV resembling the Ford Bronco, equipped with a roof carrier that is tethered to a charging cable. The concept proposes that an auxiliary battery pack could be affixed to the roof of an electric vehicle to serve as a reserve energy source in scenarios where charging infrastructure is scarce.
Ford’s Rooftop EV Backup Battery Patent Illustrations
Subsequent images elaborate on a sleek design for the auxiliary battery housing, which resembles traditional rooftop cargo carriers. According to the patent application, this design could feature airflow channels for effective battery cooling and could be affixed to the vehicle using standard roof rack attachment mechanisms. While this would make the battery pack removable, the physical labor involved in mounting or dismounting such a substantial unit may pose challenges.
Ford is not the pioneer in proposing supplementary battery packs as a remedy for range anxiety among EV users. Rivian submitted a patent for a detachable battery pack in 2019, and CEO RJ Scaringe indicated production plans later that same year. However, as of yet, the company has not actualized this concept.
The future of Ford’s roof-mounted backup battery remains uncertain. The existence of a patent application should not be conflated with a confirmed product roadmap. Even if this innovation were to be commercialized, its practical application seems limited to specialized activities such as overlanding or off-roading. During extensive road journeys, the added weight and aerodynamic drag could potentially offset any advantages gained from the auxiliary power source.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ford Rooftop Backup Battery Patent
What is the focus of Ford’s recent patent application?
The focus of Ford’s recent patent application is a rooftop backup battery system for electric vehicles. The aim is to extend the driving range when charging stations are unavailable.
How was the backup battery system designed?
The backup battery system is designed to be mounted on the roof of an electric vehicle. It would be housed in a sleek carrier similar to traditional rooftop cargo carriers. The design could also incorporate airflow channels for effective battery cooling.
Is this the first time an automaker has proposed such a solution?
No, Ford is not the first automaker to propose the idea of auxiliary battery packs to combat range anxiety. Rivian submitted a similar patent in 2019, although they have not moved forward with it as of yet.
How is the backup battery system attached to the vehicle?
According to the patent application, the backup battery could be affixed to the vehicle using standard roof rack attachment mechanisms, making it removable.
Does the patent guarantee that Ford will produce this backup battery system?
No, a patent application is not an assurance that the product will be commercialized. The concept is still at the patent stage, and Ford has not confirmed any plans to bring the backup battery system to market.
What are the potential downsides of using this rooftop backup battery?
The added weight and aerodynamic drag during long road trips could potentially negate the benefits of the extra power source. Furthermore, manually mounting or dismounting such a significant unit may pose challenges.
Is this backup battery system suitable for all types of driving conditions?
According to the information available, the rooftop backup battery would be most practical for specialized activities like overlanding or off-roading. Its utility during long road journeys appears to be limited due to increased weight and aerodynamic drag.
More about Ford Rooftop Backup Battery Patent
- Ford’s Official Website
- United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
- Rivian’s 2019 Battery Patent
- Article on Electric Vehicle Range Anxiety
- Overview of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
- Guide to Overlanding and Off-Roading with Electric Vehicles