What’s a Frunk, And Does Your Electric Vehicle Need One?

By March 19, 2020 Blog
The Porsche “frunk,” or front trunk, is small but handy.

The Porsche “frunk,” or front trunk, is small but handy.

Many electric cars are finding themselves with a bunch of empty space where the engine used to be. Some models are converting this space into a front trunk, or “frunk.”

Frunks are nothing new: Rear-engine cars and vans have had them for decades. What is new is the prospect of having a trunk on both ends. Is this genius or insanity? And do you need this for your EV?

Let’s take a look under the hood!

The Tesla Frunk

One way of judging whether a given EV feature is en vogue is whether Tesla is doing it. And, sure enough, Tesla frunks are a real thing. The Model 3 has a small but handsome frunk that’s fairly deep and pretty stylish. This probably bodes well for front trunks to continue appearing on EVs throughout the 2020s.

Are Frunks Worth the Hype?

There’s no way of telling yet. What we do know is that all of this space in a car that would have once been dedicated to the engine and its various components is now free and available for other use. We will have to wait and see what ideas the automobile manufacturers come up with.

It is entirely possible that this newly empty space could serve as the creative sandbox for an entirely new aspect of the motoring experience: something totally absent today that will become a must-have in the future, like torpedoes for slow traffic. But we’re not there yet. So far, the best (and worst) use we’ve come across is the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which has an insulated frunk that can be used as a beverage cooler or even a shrimp cocktail bar at tailgating parties. That is utterly ridiculous yet also pretty darn cool, if you’ll pardon our pun.

But is it just a gimmick, or is it actually a sign of things to come? It’s too early to say.

What we can say is this: Usually, when a technological advance frees up space in an object, that object eliminates the extra space and becomes smaller and nimbler. However, this particular situation might be different. We already have ultra-small EVs on the road. Many Americans have an aversion to those small cars, especially since so many of the vehicles on the road today are huge. It can be pretty scary to drive next to a giant pickup or SUV in a tiny little pea pod! Some drivers want a bigger option. So frunks might just stick around just to add bulk for those who want it.

Do You Actually Need Two Trunks?

If the frunk never becomes more than a glorified second trunk, it probably won’t achieve mainstream status. That’s because very few people actually need two trunks in their car. Carrying extra cargo weight is a huge waste of battery power, and before you know it you’ll be using our app to find a charging station near you. So, besides emergency supplies, you shouldn’t be storing extra stuff in your car.

Also, remember that a front trunk doesn’t have the same utility as a rear trunk: When it comes to long objects, most cars let you put down the back seat so that you can extend the storage length of the trunk. A frunk can’t do that, since the dashboard and driver are in the way. In addition, there are still some EV components that will take up space in the front. Thus, front trunk storage will always be smaller.

Having said that, there are certainly a few situations where the extra storage space is useful. It’s easy to imagine frunks cultivating a niche as commercial vehicles, such as taxis and rideshares, grocery delivery cars, and corporate fleets. They may also find a market with families who don’t want the size and expense of an SUV but still need a lot of cargo space for the kids’ stuff.

Look to the Future with EV Connect

At EV Connect, we’re excited about the future of electric vehicles, from casual ideas like the frunk to truly innovative EV charging solutions that promise to make it easier and more profitable to charge EVs at your parking lots and garages.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help bring EV charging solutions to your business, transit agency, or fleet.

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