Ford has filed a patent that envisions a trailer with an integrated battery pack and electric motors that allow the user to easily position it at the campsite or job site, as well as providing backup power, both for the towing EV and for tools and appliances.
According to the document which was filed on 13th January and published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on 13th July, the charging trailer includes a trailer body, wheels and tyres, batteries, ports for recharging the internal pack and providing exportable power, as well as electric motors and a controller.
Here’s the abstract, as per the USPTO filing:
“A charging trailer is provided and includes one or more motors to maneuver the charging trailer, a rechargeable battery pack for storing electrical energy, a recharging port for receiving electrical power from a charger to recharge the rechargeable battery pack, and one or more charging ports for charging one or more pieces of electrically powered equipment with the electrical energy stored in the rechargeable battery pack. The charging trailer also includes a controller for controlling movement of the charging trailer to position the charging trailer in a use position to charge the one or more pieces of electrically powered equipment.”
It’s a similar approach to that employed on the Lightship L1 electric motorhome, but it’s not identical. In the Lightship, the embedded batteries and electric motors power the trailer while it’s being towed by the EV in front, minimising range loss, while Ford’s patent shows a more utilitarian concept, where electric motors are used in the trailer just to make it easier to move around while the towing vehicle is parked.
With this being said, it’s an interesting idea that could be applied to a multitude of trailers, from simple utility ones to motorhomes and car trailers.
Recently, Ford also filed a patent for a roof-mounted battery box that could in theory provide backup power to an EV while driving in remote locations where there’s limited access to charging infrastructure.