Electrified vehicles with removable and interchangeable range extending generators

US 10 773 602B2

drawing #0

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This disclosure details electrified vehicles that are equipped with removable generators for increasing the electric range of the vehicles. An exemplary electrified vehicle includes a cargo space, such as a truck bed, and a generator removably positioned within the cargo space. The generator is adapted to selectively supply power for either charging a battery pack of the electrified vehicle or for propelling one or more vehicle drive wheels. In some embodiments, the generator is shaped like, and therefore disguised as, a toolbox.

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Claims

1. An electrified vehicle, comprising:
a drive wheel;
a battery pack;
a cargo space; and
a generator removably positioned within the cargo space and adapted to selectively output power for either charging the battery pack or propelling the drive wheel,
wherein the generator is box shaped,
wherein the generator includes locating studs received within openings of the cargo space.

Show 3 dependent claims

5. An electrified vehicle, comprising:
a drive wheel;
a battery pack;
a cargo space;
a generator removably positioned within the cargo space and adapted to selectively output power for either charging the battery pack or propelling the drive wheel,
wherein the generator is box shaped;
a control system configured to control the power outputted by each of the battery pack and the generator during a drive cycle; and
a human machine interface in communication with the control system and configured to receive an operating mode input for controlling the generator during the drive cycle.

Show 2 dependent claims

8. An electrified vehicle, comprising:
a passenger cabin;
a truck bed rearward of the passenger cabin;
a generator removably mounted within the truck bed and including an outer enclosure disguised as a saddle-style truck bed toolbox; and
a connection system including a first connector recessed into a floor of the truck bed and a second connector protruding from a bottom wall of the generator.

Show 8 dependent claims

Description

TECHNICAL FIELD

This disclosure details electrified vehicles that are equipped with removable generators for increasing the electric range of the vehicles.

BACKGROUND

The desire to reduce automotive fuel consumption and emissions has been well documented. Therefore, electrified vehicles are being developed that reduce or completely eliminate reliance on internal combustion engines. In general, electrified vehicles differ from conventional motor vehicles because they are selectively driven by one or more battery powered electric machines. Conventional motor vehicles, by contrast, rely exclusively on the internal combustion engine to propel the vehicle.

A high voltage battery pack typically powers the electric machines and other electrical loads of the electrified vehicle. The high voltage battery pack provides a limited amount of electric-only driving range. Some customers desire the ability to add additional electric-only range to their electrified vehicles.

SUMMARY

An electrified vehicle according to an exemplary aspect of the present disclosure includes, among other things, a drive wheel, a battery pack, a cargo space, and a generator removably positioned within the cargo space and adapted to selectively output power for either charging the battery pack or propelling the drive wheel. The generator is shaped like a toolbox.

In a further non-limiting embodiment of the foregoing electrified vehicle, the electrified vehicle is a pickup truck.

In a further non-limited embodiment of either of the foregoing electrified vehicles, the cargo space is established by a truck bed of the pickup truck.

In a further non-limited embodiment of any of the foregoing electrified vehicles, at least a portion of a bottom wall of the generator is spaced a distance above a floor of the cargo space.

In a further non-limited embodiment of any of the foregoing electrified vehicles, the generator includes an enclosure that houses an engine and a fuel tank.

In a further non-limited embodiment of any of the foregoing electrified vehicles, the enclosure further houses an exhaust system and electronics of the generator.

In a further non-limited embodiment of any of the foregoing electrified vehicles, the vehicle includes a connection system for electrically connecting the generator to a voltage bus of the electrified vehicle.

In a further non-limited embodiment of any of the foregoing electrified vehicles, the connection system includes a vehicle-side connector and a generator-side connector.

In a further non-limited embodiment of any of the foregoing electrified vehicles, the vehicle-side connector is recessed into a floor of the cargo space and the generator-side connector protrudes from a bottom wall of the generator.

In a further non-limited embodiment of any of the foregoing electrified vehicles, the vehicle-side connector is a female connector and the battery-side connector is a male connector.

In a further non-limited embodiment of any of the foregoing electrified vehicles, the generator includes locating studs received within openings of the cargo space.

In a further non-limited embodiment of any of the foregoing electrified vehicles, the generator is interchangeable with a second generator that includes a different power capacity compared to the generator.

In a further non-limited embodiment of any of the foregoing electrified vehicles, the generator is connected in series relative to the battery pack.

In a further non-limited embodiment of any of the foregoing electrified vehicles, a control system is configured to control the power outputted by each of the battery pack and the generator during a drive cycle.

In a further non-limited embodiment of any of the foregoing electrified vehicles, a human machine interface is in communication with the control system and configured to receive an operating mode input for controlling the generator during the drive cycle.

A method according to another exemplary aspect of the present disclosure includes, among other things, positioning a generator within a cargo space of an electrified vehicle. The generator is disguised as a toolbox. Power from the generator may be output for either propelling a wheel of the electrified vehicle or charging a battery pack of the electrified vehicle.

In a further non-limiting embodiment of the foregoing method, the method includes outputting the power from the generator and power from the battery pack in parallel.

In a further non-limiting embodiment of either of the foregoing methods, outputting the power from the generator is only performed when a state of charge of the battery pack falls below a threshold level.

In a further non-limiting embodiment of any of the foregoing methods, positioning the generator within the cargo space includes connecting a vehicle-side connector to a generator-side connector.

In a further non-limiting embodiment of any of the foregoing methods, the method includes removing the generator from the cargo space and replacing the generator with a second generator that has a different power capacity than the generator.

The embodiments, examples and alternatives of the preceding paragraphs, the claims, or the following description and drawings, including any of their various aspects or respective individual features, may be taken independently or in any combination. Features described in connection with one embodiment are applicable to all embodiments, unless such features are incompatible.

The various features and advantages of this disclosure will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description. The drawings that accompany the detailed description can be briefly described as follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 schematically illustrates a powertrain of an electrified vehicle.

FIG. 2 illustrates an electrified vehicle that may employ the powertrain of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 schematically illustrates the interchangeability of different sized generators that may be employed by the electrified vehicle of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 illustrates a generator of the electrified vehicle of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 illustrates a connection system for connecting a generator to a voltage bus of an electrified vehicle.

FIG. 6 illustrates a generator-side connector of the connection system of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 illustrates a vehicle-side connector of the connection system of FIG. 5.

FIG. 8 illustrates an electric drive system according to a first embodiment of this disclosure.

FIG. 9 illustrates an electric drive system according to a second embodiment of this disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

This disclosure details electrified vehicles that are equipped with removable generators for increasing the electric range of the vehicles. An exemplary electrified vehicle includes a cargo space, such as a truck bed, and a generator removably positioned within the cargo space. The generator is adapted to selectively supply power for either charging a battery pack of the electrified vehicle or for propelling one or more vehicle drive wheels. In some embodiments, the generator is shaped like, and therefore disguised as, a toolbox. These and other features are discussed in greater detail in the following paragraphs of this detailed description.

FIG. 1 schematically illustrates a powertrain 10 of an electrified vehicle 12. In an embodiment, the electrified vehicle 12 is a battery electric vehicle (BEV) that is propelled solely through electric power, such as by an electric machine 14, without any assistance from an internal combustion engine. The electric machine 14 receives electrical power and provides a rotational output power. In an embodiment, the electric machine 14 is an electric motor.

The electric machine 14 may be connected to a gearbox 16 for adjusting the output torque and speed of the electric machine 14 by a predetermined gear ratio. The gearbox 16 is connected to a set of drive wheels 18 by an output shaft 20. A voltage bus 22 electrically connects the electric machine 14 to a battery pack 24 through an inverter 26. The electric machine 14, the gearbox 16, and the inverter 26 may be collectively referred to as a transmission 28.

The battery pack 24 is an exemplary electrified vehicle battery. The battery pack 24 may be a high voltage traction battery pack that includes a plurality of battery arrays 25 (i.e., battery assemblies or groupings of battery cells) capable of outputting electrical power to operate the electric machine 14 and/or other electrical loads of the electrified vehicle 12 for providing the power necessary to propel the wheels 18. Other types of energy storage devices and/or output devices can also be used to electrically power the electrified vehicle 12.

The electrified vehicle 12 is also be equipped with a charging system 30 for charging the energy storage devices (e.g., battery cells) of the battery pack 24. The charging system 30 can be connected to an external power source for receiving and distributing power received from the external power source to the battery pack 24.

The electrified vehicle 12 may be operable to travel over a specific distance prior to energy depletion of the battery pack 24, which may lead to operator range anxiety. Accordingly, the electrified vehicle 12 may additionally be equipped with a generator 54 for increasing the travel range of the electrified vehicle 12. Like the battery pack 24, the generator 54 may be operably connected to the electric machine 14 through the inverter 26 over the voltage bus 22. The generator 54 may also be connected either in parallel or in series relative to the battery pack 24. As discussed in greater detail below, the generator 54 may be a gasoline driven generator that is removable and interchangeable.

The powertrain 10 shown in FIG. 1 is highly schematic and is not intended to limit this disclosure. Various additional components could alternatively or additionally be employed by the powertrain 10 within the scope of this disclosure. In addition, the teachings of this disclosure may be incorporated into any type of electrified vehicle, including but not limited to trucks, sport utility vehicles, cars, etc.

Although the different non-limiting embodiments are illustrated as having specific components or steps, the embodiments of this disclosure are not limited to those particular combinations. It is possible to use some of the components or features from any of the non-limiting embodiments in combination with features or components from any of the other non-limiting embodiments.

It should be understood that like reference numerals identify corresponding or similar elements throughout the several drawings. It should be understood that although a particular component arrangement is disclosed and illustrated in these exemplary embodiments, other arrangements could also benefit from the teachings of this disclosure.

The foregoing description shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in any limiting sense. A worker of ordinary skill in the art would understand that certain modifications could come within the scope of this disclosure. For these reasons, the following claims should be studied to determine the true scope and content of this disclosure.

Citations

US 2009 223,725 A1 - HYBRID ELECTRIC CONVERSION KIT FOR REAR-WHEEL DRIVE, ALL WHEEL DRIVE, AND FOUR WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES
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US 2015 15,065 A1 - SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR SUPPLYING AUXILIARY POWER TO AN ELECTRIFIED VEHICLE
A power supply system for an electrified vehicle according to an exemplar aspect of the present disclosure includes, among other things, a primary power source...

US 9,290,098 B2 - Electric vehicles with extended range
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US 7,514,803 B2 - Trailer with integral axle-mounted generator and battery charger
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US 2016 9,232 A1 - Power Toolbox, Power Toolbox Accessory Kit, and Related Methods
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US 7,475,747 B2 - Electric or hybrid vehicle with a spare electric motor power source
A secondary electric power source (19) for a motor vehicle having one or more electric motors (12) for driving respective wheels (10a) of the motor...

US 9,393,857 B1 - Vehicle and operating method
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US 2012 303,397 A1 - Charging Service Vehicle Network
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US 2006 650 A1 - Hybrid vehicle conversion kit
This disclosure relates to a hybrid electrical drive system for a vehicle, and in particular, to a conversion kit for converting a vehicle with a...

US 9,457,666 B2 - Method and apparatus for supplying auxiliary electrical power to an electric or hybrid vehicle
The present invention may include a towable trailer being mechanically couplable to a vehicle, the towable trailer including an auxiliary battery housing unit, a wheel...

US 2015 210,152 A1 - ONBOARD GENERATOR DRIVE SYSTEM FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES
An electric vehicle utilizes an internal combustion engine to drive the vehicle's main electric drive system in the regeneration mode and to charge the battery...

US 2011 226,539 A1 - VEHICLE WITH REMOVABLE AUXILIARY POWER SYSTEM
An electric and hybrid vehicle configuration with removable auxiliary power supply is disclosed which provides a flexible configuration for, on the one hand, allowing on...

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