We’re not sure if the in-flight charging system belongs to this category. Still, considering it’s more like an “in-tow” charging system, we think Ford got it wrong already. The idea monetizes Ford F-150 Lightning’s ability to supply power to external devices via its vehicle-to-load (V2L) feature. And since both the donor and the receiver are moving vehicles, why not do it while driving, with less wasted time? Sounds brilliant.
The patent filed with the USPTO on February 15, 2021, was finally published on August 18, 2022, and was assigned the serial number 0258642. According to the filing, an EV driver could request in-flight charging while driving down the road. The system even allows negotiating a fee and rating the service provider, like an Uber for charging. The receiver EV can be charged while being towed or even trailing behind the charging vehicle.
This kind of service could be easily implemented, thanks to the vehicle-to-vehicle function of Ford’s electric pickup trucks. Still, we’re unsure if there would be enough demand for it. It could be worth it for somebody who values time more than money and doesn’t want to wait at a charging station. But then again, fast charging today has gotten so fast (and keeps improving) that you’ll have more juice while sipping a coffee than you can draw from an electric truck while moving.
This idea seems as far-fetched as another Ford patent describing a giant battery power bank to fit in the F-150 Lightning’s frunk and offer increased range or external charging. Or the even crazier idea to put a bolt-on range extender in the pickup bed for the same reason. We’d love to know your thoughts about this “in-flight charging” idea, so head to the comments section below and fire away.