The “Frunk” Proves Divisive in Nascent EV Industry

The race for who dominates the electric vehicle industry has barely started as engineers at different EV manufacturing facilities battle to boost EV range as well as the speed at which the batteries can be charged, among other issues of electric vehicles. However, the front trunk or “frunk,” is proving to be a divisive factor, with some complaining about the features while others are reporting it could popularize electric vehicles in ways no manufacturer had imagined possible.

For starters, there seems to be no agreement regarding the necessity of a frunk on an electric vehicle other than using as extra storage space where an engine should have been. Looking through the models of EVs on American roads shows that approximately one-third of them have typical frunks, with another third having extra-large frunks and the remaining third leaving them out altogether.

Ford’s F-150 Lightning pickup boasts of having the largest frunk among all EVs while the Model Y from Tesla comes with a 4.1 cubic-foot frunk. These are examples of vehicle makers who are taking the frunk seriously and are looking to market their EVs by singing the praises of what one can do with such massive storage space, space that was freed when the engine was made obsolete and batteries were lined up on the bed of the vehicle.

Other companies, such as Mercedes Benz, see no reason to have a frunk when the trunk is sufficient to carry what a motorist needs. As such, its EQS sedan, as well as the BMW i4 sedan, doesn’t sport any frunk.

Other companies fall somewhere along this continuum, but what is interesting is how the frunks have become a powerful marketing force for EVs. On Snapchat, there is a #FrunkPuppy challenge where motorists share and gloat over photos of their dogs lounging inside the frunk of their electric vehicles. Ford even put out a promotional video actually showing that the frunk on the F-150 Lightning can be a mobile sushi bar — or those not so inclined toward raw seafood can comfortably put a thousand chicken wings on ice inside the frunk.

These trends gathering steam on social media are likely to give electric vehicle makers plenty of milage and free marketing because they get ordinary people talking about different electric vehicle models, which can normalize EVs and drive sales. It remains to be seen how manufacturers such as Fisker Inc. (NYSE: FSR) will tap into this new craze surrounding frunks in order to tweak their EV model plans or swim against the tide and appeal to those who want a no-frills method of locomotion. Either way, the EV industry wins.

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