Ford has applied for a patent for a backup battery pack for electric vehicles (EVs) — and it sits on the roof.
Though demand for EVs is higher than ever, some drivers worry about taking EVs on long drives or off-roading trips. What happens if your battery runs out while you’re on the road? Though they’re becoming more widespread, EV charging stations aren’t as common as gas stations, so it can be hard to keep your vehicle fueled.
That’s where Ford’s patent comes in. The proposed backup battery pack would rest on the roof of the car and provide drivers with extra battery power. This way, drivers can alleviate range anxiety and won’t have to worry about running out of juice before they reach the next charging station.
The patent, first picked up by Car and Driver, suggests that these battery packs could be “rented or leased prior to an off-roading trip,” meaning the battery packs will be removable and compatible with multiple EV models. If made a reality, these battery packs could win over drivers concerned about buying an EV.
The switch to EVs is good news for the environment. On average, EVs’ pollution output is 30-50% lower than pollution from vehicles with internal combustion engines.
Because this innovation is still in development, there are some questions the patent doesn’t answer. For example, EV batteries can weigh over 1,000 pounds — how are drivers supposed to get the battery pack on top of their cars? What kind of reinforcements will cars need to support that kind of weight?
Currently, there is no way to tell if or when these battery packs will be available for widespread use. But the patent demonstrates that automakers are eager to provide EV options for more drivers and their driving demands.
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