A petrol gennie: Ford’s answer to EV range anxiety?

ByDean MellorOctober 7, 2020
A petrol gennie: Ford’s answer to EV range anxiety?

We’re going to throw this one in the Weird Wednesday basket: it seems as though a good ol’ petrol gennie could be Ford’s answer to overcome EV range anxiety.

It’s gotta be a Weird Wednesday when a petrol gennie may be the range extender Ford needs to convince customers to buy its upcoming all-electric F-150 pick-up.

Ford plans to launch the all-electric version of its F-150 pick-up in 2022, and the company recently released a video showing how capable the battery-powered vehicle will be on the road, when towing heavy loads, while climbing steep grades and even off-road… but impressive performance won’t allay the fears of potential buyers when it comes to range anxiety.

According to that digital tome of all knowledge, Wikipedia, “Range anxiety is the fear that a vehicle has insufficient range to reach its destination and would thus strand the vehicle’s occupants. The term, which is primarily used in reference to battery electric vehicles (BEVs), is considered to be one of the major barriers to large scale adoption of all-electric cars.”

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A screen grab of the patent application.

As reported in US-based automotive website Ford Authority, the recent Ford patent application outlines a range-extending unit that can be situated in the tub of the F-150 consisting a petrol engine, a fuel tank and an exhaust system, as well as a bunch of electronics – otherwise known as a petrol gennie.

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Yes, we get the irony, but the idea really isn’t as silly as it sounds. For those times when you’re just running around town doing short trips you could leave the generator at home, but if you had to haul a heavy load over a decent distance you could throw the gennie in the back ‘just in case’. This could also be a solution for four-wheel drivers who want to travel to destinations where there are no charging facilities… at least until battery technology advances enough to provide much longer touring range. For fleet owners, the gennie could also be swapped from vehicle to vehicle.