Electric cars are the future of the automotive sector. They are not only environmentally friendly, but also offer many innovative solutions that make them more comfortable and functional. One such unique solution is a front trunk – or a frunk – in an electric car. What is a frunk, what are its advantages and disadvantages? In which models of electric cars can frunk be found, and how does EPP facilitate their design while increasing safety and comfort? In this article we answer all these questions.
What is a frunk?
"Frunk" is a term used in the automotive industry, which was created by combining two words, "front" and "trunk." It refers to a trunk located in the front of the car, rather than in the rear, as in internal combustion vehicles. Frunk is definitely a feature of electric cars, which do not have a traditional internal combustion engine. Its elimination has created free space that can be used for cargo. Depending on the model and design solutions, the front trunk in an electric car can vary in size and shape. Moreover, a trunk and a frunk usually occur in the car simultaneously. Frunk as an additional loading space has its supporters and opponents, but there is no doubt that for potential buyers of the car it can be an attractive advantage.
Advantages and disadvantages of a frunk
The front trunk in an electric car offers a number of benefits that make it an attractive option for many drivers. First of all, it increases the luggage capacity of an electric car, which is especially useful for longer trips or bigger shopping hauls. In addition, it allows for better organization of luggage. With such additional space, you can separate different types of load, such as putting food in the frunk, while clothes and tools – in the trunk. An often emphasized advantage of the frunk is increased safety – the space at the front of the car provides an additional "buffer" in the event of a frontal collision.
The front cargo compartment in an electric car also has its drawbacks, which include a rather limited cargo capacity. An overly large trunk compartment could result in limited space for, e.g. the engine or other important systems of the car, and could hinder potential repairs. On the other hand, overly limiting the frunk's capacity could result in reduced functionality and comfort, so manufacturers must balance these two aspects. Modern material technologies provide interesting solutions.
Capacity of front trunks in electric cars
The capacity of the frunk can significantly vary depending on the model of an electric car. In some vehicles, the space can even accommodate several suitcases. Others, on the other hand, are equipped with very small frunks used only for storing a charging cable or small accessories. In Tesla cars, for example, the capacities can be quite large, ranging from 80 to as much as 190 liters. Other automakers offer slightly smaller frunks – Porsche Taycan, for example, has a cargo capacity of about 80 liters, and in Audi e-tron it is only 60 liters. Volkswagen's electric cars offer frunks of 40-50 liters. At the end of the list are the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Kia e-Niro with front frunks of 30 and 20 liters, respectively.
Frunk as part of the security system
Many people wonder whether electric cars are safe. It is worth noting that the frunk in electric vehicles can act as an additional crumple zone in the event of a frontal collision, absorbing some of the force of the impact and protecting the driver and passenger. Frunk can also contribute ro pedestrian safety: in some electric car models, the frunk, along with the front bumper, are designed to soften the impact in the event of a collision with a pedestrian, potentially reducing the risk of serious injury.
Frunk as extra space for food
An often-cited advantage of the frunk is that it can accommodate packaging and food items that emit intense odors, since unlike a traditional trunk, it is sealed off from the passenger compartment. By placing such items in the front car trunk, you can avoid the spread of unwanted odors or the formation of dirt on the upholstery. Some manufacturers even equip frunks with an additional drain with a special a plug. This makes it easy to wash this space, for example with a garden hose.
Which models of electric cars have a front trunk?
- Tesla – model S,3, X, Y,
- Kia e-Niro,
- Hyundai Kona Electric,
- Volkswagen ID.3, ID.4,
- Audi e-tron, as well as Renault Zoe
- BMW i3, iX3.
However, some manufacturers have completely abandoned offering a front trunk option on their vehicles. Examples include the latest model of BMW's electric SUV or Toyota's hybrid vehicles. In some cases, designers have opted to increase the size of the cockpit and passenger compartment, while in others they have expanded the air filtration and air conditioning systems. Consideration was also given to placing cells in this space, but the rather heavy construction of the electric car's battery does not allow it. Frunk was also never considered in the least expensive electric car, the Nissan Leaf, as it was originally designed as an internal combustion vehicle.
EPP components in electric cars – how do they affect safety and comfort?
EPP plastic has found excellent application in the production of parts for electric cars, including loading space components – both in the rear and at the front of the vehicle. This is determined by its highly flexible production capabilities – the pressure-molded components can take any form, while being extremely lightweight and strong. EPP perfectly dampens the force of impact and does not deform at the same time, so it is also perfectly suitable for the production of bumpers. When used, for example, in the form of a lining or organizer at the front of a vehicle, it definitely increases the protection of passengers in the event of a frontal collision. The excellent damping and heat-insulating properties of EPP foam are a major advantage in terms of transporting food products and products sensitive to extreme temperatures or mechanical damage in the trunk. EPP plastic can also have a nice-looking embossed surface or a variety of colors, which can definitely enhance the aesthetics of electric car trunks. All this makes EPP ideal for realizing customized car body structure solutions, including a frunk.