Monday, October 2, 2023
News Ford Could Soon Offer a Roof-Mounted Auxiliary Battery for EVs

Ford Could Soon Offer a Roof-Mounted Auxiliary Battery for EVs

Ford could be working on a roof box filled with batteries in order to extend EV range.

  • The patent shows a battery that looks like a traditional roof box installed on a Bronco.

  • Ford says this will be useful when driving in areas with limited charger access, such as when off-roading

  • Mounting a battery on the roof of a vehicle comes with a number of challenges that will need to be addressed.

Due to the lack of available charging facilities, there are still places in North America that electric vehicles can’t reach, but Ford thinks it might have found a solution to this problem.

Indeed, the automaker has filed for a patent on a new auxiliary battery that will be mounted on the roof of EVs ahead of longer trips or when driving in an area with poor charging access, such as when off-roading.

From the images that accompany the patent found by user RDale on the Lightning Owners forum, we can see that this battery will look very similar to a traditional roof box, but instead of cargo, it will be filled with lithium-ion cells and it will feature a cable that will plug into the vehicle’s charging port.

This means this added battery will serve as a separate power bank, similar to the ones used to charge a smartphone while on the move.

According to Ford, this box will be lined with polyurethane foam and it will feature air ducts in order to keep the cells cool even if the outside of the battery is exposed to the beating sun.

Since one of the intended uses for this power solution is off-roading, Ford has devised remote-controlled valves that can be fitted in the air ducts in order to stop water, mud, or sand from entering the battery and causing internal damage.

To show it is serious about EV off-roading, Ford decided to show this battery being installed on a Bronco in its patent drawings, which suggests an electric version of the rugged 4×4 might be coming sooner than initially expected.

While installing a battery on the roof of an EV might have advantages such as an increased range, it is also likely to have fairly serious drawbacks.

Indeed, batteries are heavy, which is why automakers usually try to install them as low as they can within the vehicle’s structure.

Adding so much weight this high up could seriously affect the balance of the vehicle, which is a concern if drivers are meant to take their EV off-road, where the risk of tipping over is already greater than on the road.

Even if we disregard this issue, we know any type of roof box drastically reduces the efficiency of the vehicle it is mounted on due to air resistance, which means the range benefits of taking a second battery for the ride might not be so impressive when considering the vehicle will assuredly need more energy to go the same distance.

Of course, patenting an idea doesn’t guarantee it will make it to production, and if it does, some buyers will likely find it fits their particular needs quite well.

Source: Lightning Owners forum

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