Ford filed a patent last week for a roof-mounted backup EV battery system designed to give you the extra juice while off the grid. The idea is likely a pipe dream, but it shows you how automakers are getting creative in the electric era.
Ford patents roof-mounted backup EV battery
Having a removable backup battery you can easily mount on the roof of your EV might come in handy while camping, off-roading, etc.
In the patent, spotted by Lightning Owners, Ford describes “a backup battery for an electrified vehicle, and more particularly, a backup battery that can be mounted to a roof of the electrified vehicle.”
The battery system includes multiple battery modules, a backup battery assembly (that houses the battery modules), a cord, and a connection port, atop a roof rack. According to Ford’s patent, the roof rack is flexible and can be used to transport other items like cargo bags, a canoe, etc.
When the battery system is engaged, drivers can use the cord to plug into the EVs charge port to charge the vehicle’s battery.
Ford gives an example explaining if you drive to a campsite that doesn’t have EV chargers readily available, you can use the roof-mounted backup battery instead.
The F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E maker says in some instances, the backup battery could be sold as an aftermarket item. It could be leased or rented in others, such as before an off-road adventure.
As forum users pointed out, the vehicle used in the patent image is a Ford Bronco. Perhaps, Ford is hinting an electric Bronco could be on the way?
Although Ford’s roof-mounted backup EV battery system may sound like a cool idea for off-roading or camping, it’s not practical. For one, how much does the battery weigh? As one user states, “Crane included?”
With current EV batteries weighing upwards of 1,000 lbs, who will be lifting the removable system? Also, the vehicle would easily roll with the slightest turn with that kind of weight on the roof. The system would need some way of centering the vehicle’s balance again.
And how does Ford plan to reinforce the roof to handle that sort of weight? A roof rack alone likely won’t do it.
Maybe, Ford should look into developing solar modules that fit on the roof of its vehicles (like ABT did with the VW ID. Buzz) that can also be removed. Solar would be a more practical way to gain range while off the grid without the added weight.