Towing is often singled out as ” the weak point » electric vehicles. It must be recognized: towing a heavy load has a significant impact on their autonomy. To overcome this problem, Ford plans to put batteries directly on the trailers. According to Motor Authoritya patent application has recently been filed on this subject.
Soon batteries in Ford trailers?
When the Ford F-150 Lightning tows a 7-meter trailer, its consumption soars: 77.7 kWh/100 km against “ only » 30 kWh/100 km usually. The range increases from 480 km without a trailer to 170 km with a trailer. A huge difference that poses some problems for Ford customers. The American manufacturer is trying to provide them with a solution. The brand recently filed a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (United States Patent and Trademark or USPTO).
This Ford F-150 electric pickup tows a 500-tonne train!
In the patent, Ford engineers detail how they plan to design the trailer to allow power to flow to the electric pickup’s batteries. A ” daisy chain configuration as can be seen in the sketch below, which would maintain the charge of the battery of the electric vehicle. In addition to supplying electricity to the pick-up, the trailers can of course be used to load equipment. Ford even offers to equip them with chargers to connect electrical devices of all kinds: motorcycles, bicycles, etc.
The automaker has already planned to replace its F-150 Lighting by 2025. Moreover, the trailers mentioned in the patents filed by Ford could also be used by other vehicles. The model drawn on the document published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office looks suspiciously like the Tesla Cybertruck. Perhaps a preview of the lines of Ford’s future pick-up? It is not impossible. The F-150 Lighting is in danger of getting quite old with the imminent release of the Tesla model.
Electric vehicles and towing
It should still be remembered that some electric pick-ups have great towing capacities. This is for example the case of the Rivian R1T which recently towed a 9.1 meter trailer loaded with 4,990 kg. A conclusive test during which the vehicle even proved that it could exceed the capabilities of the Tesla Cybertruck Dual Motor. Well, on the other hand the Tri Motors version, the one capable of towing 6,350 kg, has for the moment no equal.
With this trailer, the R1T nevertheless loses 50% of its capacity in terms of autonomy. And this despite a huge 180 kWh battery and a 765 hp motor. The ID.4, Volkswagen’s urban SUV isn’t ridiculous when it comes to towing either. The model can tow a trailer weighing up to 1900 kg. It’s still 400 kg more than the Polestar 2 and above all 300 kg more than the Tesla Model Y.
The idea of putting batteries in a trailer is not new. Ford is certainly inspired by prototypes that have already seen the light of day. Colorado Teardrops, for example, has designed a caravan equipped with a 75 kWh battery capable of recharging an electric vehicle. There ” Boulder is a trailer capable of recharging the towing vehicle when its autonomy has dropped or in areas without any recharging station. The first prototypes were to be launched in the summer of 2022 in the United States. Airstream, another start-up, unveiled a similar concept last year.
Another big manufacturer is very interested in this kind of toy. He is also American. Not surprising given the number of pickups that are sold in the United States. This is General Motors. Like Ford, the brand has filed a patent application to develop technology that would allow a trailer to power the batteries of an electric vehicle. We also think of a young German shoot ” BVB-Innovate » and his project « Mobat.Me ” which has a nuance of size: the trailer can not transport anything and is only used to recharge the electric vehicle.