Home Education Automakers are advertising ‘Frunk’: the trunk ahead. But does that word...

Automakers are advertising ‘Frunk’: the trunk ahead. But does that word sound like swearing?

 Automakers are advertising ‘Frunk’: the trunk ahead.  But does that word sound like swearing?

Now drivers can have less rubbish in the trunk and more in the trunk.

People have long appreciated having storage space in the back of their cars, whether to hide tools or pick up the trunk. As more and more people buy electric cars, they will increasingly throw things in the inelegantly named place where the engine used to be.

Meet the trunk, for the front torso. Electricians sell a battery-powered engine that usually lines the floor of a car. This opens up a large front cavity for a new role.

Although storage under the hood has long existed on niche cars, automakers have never dealt with it. Today, as competition between EV manufacturers heats up, they have unleashed their designers on the front trunk and made the same familiar feature as storage space than you can boast.

Ford says football fans can use the Mustang Mach-E barrel for riding.



Last month when

Ford Motor The company

celebrated the start of production of its electric pickup F-150 Lightning, a 14.1-cubic-foot truck took center stage. CEO Jim Farley listed ways to use the “Mega Power Frunk,” such as transporting 400 pounds of concrete or wet and dirty equipment.

Built-in outlets can charge other EVs, “as for your friends who own Teslas,” Mr. Farley said. And “Damn, you tell me how much beer you can put in that pile.” It comes with a drain, so it can serve as a cooler during a party on a game day or a party that Ford calls a “double gate”.

Barabak has long been a staple for Tesla models and has become a cult hit, with social media users trying to come up with more creative uses for it.

However, the name frunk has its detractors, including some who say that the coat makes them shudder. “It looks like you’re swearing,” said Rich Shear, GMC Hummer EV’s director of design. “As if your mom would yell at you for saying it out loud.”

General Motors The company

Executives are trying to name the trademark for the term they prefer: “eTrunk”. Nobody has tried to steal it from them yet.

Car and aviation pioneer Charles Stuart Rawls drove an early Peugeot with literally a front trunk. Before he became a co-founder of Rolls-Royce, Mr. Rolls imported French cars to London.


SSPL / Getty Images

France was probably the first home of the front trunk, said Brian Baker, chief historian of the Hall of Fame. He said French designers in the early 20th century created cars that had a middle or rear engine and a small compartment under the hood.

Engines eventually claimed this place on most cars, although the front trunk continued to adorn some well-known cars such as the Chevrolet Corvair and older versions of the Volkswagen Beetle. But that was only before the advent of electric cars, and especially

Tesla Inc.

spot marketing as a ‘franc’ that concept has become widespread, Mr Baker said.

Earl Benning, a neuropsychologist from Dayton, Ohio, used the barrel of his Tesla Model 3 to carry luggage or spicy Thai takeaway food, but he wanted to do something to show it. He posted a photo of his dog in the open


The hashtag #frunkpuppy. Four years later, he said, he receives hundreds of entries for his weekly “Puppy Puppy” contest, some showcasing a franc that holds kittens or hamsters.

“I’m a Tesla fan, but I’ve always wanted the‘ puppy ’to be an EV agnostic,” Dr. Banning said. “I thought it was a great way to raise awareness about EVs.”

According to data provider EV-volumes.com, the number of electric vehicles sold in the U.S. rose 92% last year. Manufacturers are leaning towards the concept of the front trunk, even if not defined as it is called.


Automotive Inc. uses the front rack to emphasize the brand’s attributes for outdoor recreation, promoting storage space for camping or camping gear. “It will be a difference because some brands have chosen not to have it,” said Jeff Hamoud, head of design. He said Rivian has not yet decided whether to label it with a front trunk, body or something else.

In 1974, Whit Ridge High School students in Colorado tried to find out how much body they could shove into the front trunk of a VW Beetle.


Denver Post / Getty Images

Lucid Group Inc.

introduced to the market the front trunk of its sedan Air with tricks such as filling it with frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving. Chief engineer Eric Bach said the word “Frunk” is not his favorite. Lucid has a British CEO, but the “foot” – for the front boot – is also not stuck. Lucid calls it simply the “front trunk”.

Some car manufacturers and customers say the front space is good for pickup owners, so they don’t need to buy compartments or put things in the truck’s bed and see it slide. Ford had an unusually large team of designers working on its trunk, four people throughout the development process, said Ehab Kaud, chief designer.

Not all manufacturers of electric drives are killed.

Volkswagen AG

It uses the front space in its ID.4 electric SUV for components that typically fill the cabin, such as mechanical guts for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, a spokesman said. The team is behind

Fisker Inc.

Ocean’s electric SUV missed the front trunk to save money, directing the money saved to improving the battery, said CEO Henrik Fisker.

Both VW and Fisker EV still have traditional trunks behind the car, which is the norm for EV sedans.

Share your thoughts

Do you like to have a trunk in front of the car? Join the conversation below.

For Tesla owner Gary Way, the front trunk is a kind of trick. The cathedral in his Tesla Model Y is too small to store anything useful, a Cleveland suburban resident said. If the car is in his garage, he has to move around picnic tables, bikes and wheelbarrows to access the front trunk, he said.

But Mike Norton’s salary on the Mustang Mach-E came in handy when he ran for a seat on the Minneapolis City Council last year. At company stops, he used it as a cooler to be able to offer root beer ingredients.

Tom Martin of Chads-Ford, Pennsylvania, who has an order for a Ford F-150 Lightning, is looking to use his trunk under the hood for golf clubs and a rosette for cooking while skiing.

He’s a little embarrassed by that word, Frank. “The first time you hear it, it sounds like, ‘What are you talking about?'” Mr. Martin said. “Like any other thing, after a while you get used to it.”

Bob Mustang Mach-E was holding the root of beer for voters when Mike Norton campaigned for a seat on the Minneapolis City Council last year. That was not enough.


Mike Norton

Write Nora Eckert on nora.eckert@wsj.com

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