This is interesting.
With their near-silent motoring, instant torque, and stylish design, electric cars have a lot going for them. But the issue of finding chargers remains the biggest stumbling block to mainstream EV adoption, which is why carmakers are trying hard to find ways around this. Mercedes offers two years of free charging with the EQS, the Audi e-tron GT gets three, and Electrify America is increasing the number of chargers in its network. But all that means nothing if you still can't find a charger on a long trip. With that in mind, a recently published patent from Ford describes an innovative mobile charger.
The patent shows a system where an EV such as the Ford F-150 Lightning, for example, can be towed and charged by a vehicle like a semi-truck or an RV. This would be especially helpful for those in rural areas where charging stations are yet to become widely available. Filed late last year and published earlier this month, the patent suggests a few methods of achieving this.
One is where the towing vehicle charges the EV constantly, but this could also be changed for the tow vehicle to only charge the EV when under less load, presumably meaning that charging might pause on uphills or under acceleration.
And the tow vehicle need not necessarily be a large vehicle: "The towing vehicle can be, for example, a transporter, a heavy goods vehicle, a road train, a semitrailer, or the like, [...], but it can also be a passenger car having appropriate performance features."
The patent, discovered by The Drive, goes on to suggest a Bluetooth or internet link between the two vehicles so that an EV can connect with a tow vehicle heading in the same direction without stopping. This would be achieved through a number of sensors. Another idea that would require stopping would see the EV have only its rear wheels on the ground after driving up onto a tow dolly or something similar. These are early days for the concept, but the idea is promising. Let's see if it ever comes to light as a real alternative to the shortage of charging infrastructure.