What the frunk is going on with these Electric Vehicle things? First, they start putting storage under the bonnet…and now they’re sticking power sockets and water coolers in there too?
UK vs US
Before we get on to look at some of the best out there…let’s get this sticking point out of the way right now….is it a frunk or a froot? What’s our stance? Who cares! If you’re based in the US, you’re almost definitely going to say frunk, right? But where I live, in the UK, we will probably call it a froot. Why is that? Well, what you guys in the US call a trunk, we call a boot.
So today I’m going to play fast and loose with the terms. Let us know your thoughts in the video comments! And stick around as we’re talking about our favourite frunks later in the video.
What is a frunk?
So what is a frunk? Well in the case of both frunk and froot, it’s a blend of two words. Front is blended with either boot or trunk to make the words.
Now the idea and practice of having storage areas in the front part of the car isn’t anything new. Just think of two famous examples in the old-school Beetle and the Porsche 911, both great cars…in their own particular ways!
So why is it only now that we use the term? Well, I suppose that in the example of the 911 and Beetle, there wasn’t a choice in storage. The engine went in the back, and so storage was up front. The famous Miriam-Webster dictionary says that there’s nothing in the definition of ‘trunk’ to say that it has to be located in the front or back…it’s simply just a place of storage.
But with the advent of the modern electric car, some of our EVs had a main storage area in the back, and then a little bit up front also. So all of a sudden we had the need to differentiate between the typical storage area at the back, and this new fancy bit at the front.
Fordy Frunks and Frooty Teslas
Right…so that’s all the explanation and backstory out of the way. Now we want to see them live in action! We’ve picked out a few of our favourites!
Let’s kick off with the Ford Mustang Mach-e. It’s got a pretty good size frunk. The US site says that it has a capacity of 4.7 cubic feet (133 litres). But what we really like about the Mach-e’s frunk is that you can use it as a cooler! It’s got drain holes in the bottom so once you’re done, you just open those up and let the icy water drain out the bottom! It’d be pretty handy at a BBQ, or maybe as a little party piece if you’re hanging around for a few beers at a big game.
Most will credit Tesla with the creation, or at least the Renaissance, of the frunk then we’re going to have a quick look there. The earlier versions of the Model S with the rear-mounted motor had a gigantic frunk. It was a real show-stopper back then. There’s plenty of videos online of fully grown adults being able to fit into the space!
Ford F-150 Lightning
But now we want to move on to what we are most excited about when it comes to frunks in EVs…the new Ford F-150 Lightning. The F-150 has what Ford is calling the Mega Power Frunk. Sounds like something out of one of the cartoons you watched as a child, doesn’t it?! But we love it!
You can open and close the funk with the push of a button, even from your phone. It’s powered so you don’t have to lug it up yourself. It’s got 14.1 cubic feet (399 litres) of cargo space, which is phenomenal! And it’s ok to take 400 lbs (180 kg)…which Ford loves to tell us is eight 50 lb (23 kg) bags of concrete mix. Now, that’s all well and good…it’s got great storage space, and thanks to the grille opening up with the bonnet it’s easy to get things in and out. But it gets even better!
The sealed cargo space is washable and drainable so you can clean it out if needed. It’s got hooks, lid dividers and nets to keep your shopping safe. But it’s also got two USB connections and four 120v sockets that can put out a total of 2.4 kW of power. And that’s just the frunk, it’s got even more in the back!
So I think we can all agree that frunks and froots are another great benefit to going electric. But many EVs don’t have them, and some people find that the frunk they have isn’t quite what they want it to be.
So we’re starting to see some pretty cool after-market products coming out. Plenty of companies are now designing storage compartments that can fit under your EV’s hood. You can buy special liners that will make your frunk waterproof. Some companies are making lights to help you see into your frunk properly in the dark.
So it’s a pretty exciting time for EVs in general, and we’re delighted to start seeing some functionality that is moving our cars beyond simply being a box on wheels. The F-150 will allow tradesmen the ability to run power tools for hours off the battery instead of dirty diesel generators. You could even use your vehicle as backup for your house in the event of powercuts. And this is only the beginning.
But that’s enough from us…we want to know what you think! Let us know in the video comments.
Do you have an EV, and if so, does it have a frunk…or froot…depending on where you’re from!?
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