- I tested the electric Ford F-150 Lightning in the Texas countryside.
- It’s a great truck all around, but its best feature is its front trunk, also known as the frunk.
- The Lightning’s frunk is large, easy to access, and offers power outlets and USB ports.
Ford’s new electric F-150 offers a host of new advantages over the company’s gas-powered truck.
The F-150 Lightning, despite its weight, promises to hit 100 km/h in just over four seconds. It can share electricity from its giant battery with household appliances, tailgating equipment or, in the event of a power outage, a homeowner’s home.
And while automatic backup power can be a lifesaver in an emergency, it’s not something homeowners will use on a daily basis. For better or worse, it’s not an ability I got to see in action when I spent a few days testing the Lightning earlier in May.
What I was able to use – and what I’m convinced is the Lightning’s greatest feature – is its front trunk. Ford calls it the Mega Power Frunk, which is an extraordinarily silly name for an extremely useful feature.
Like most modern EVs, the F-150 Lightning’s underlying structure looks a bit like a giant electric skateboard. Its motors are mounted by its axles and its battery is in its belly. That means Ford can do fun things with all the space that isn’t taken up by a conventional engine.
Open the “hood” of the Lightning and you’ll discover a generous cargo space larger than the trunk of a Toyota Corolla. Of course, the trucks offer plenty of storage space as is. That’s kind of the problem. But pickups have generally lacked lockable, weatherproof storage, and the frunk adds just that.
It’s not only roomy – able to carry a few carry-ons and a maximum of 400 pounds – but easy to access.
The entire grille area lifts off, revealing a load floor low enough for almost anyone to use. For comparison, the Rivian R1T, another electric pickup, has a more conventional hood, so you have to lower the cargo into it from above. It might be difficult for smaller people.
Imagine traveling with four people and a bunch of bikes or camping gear in the bed. An additional trunk for bags and small items would be more than welcome. Or, consider that some owners would like to keep things in their truck at all times, but not display them in the bed.
And the frunk offers other cool extras.
There is additional storage space under the floor with a drain hole, so owners can fill the trunk with ice or hose it down. A removable panel also serves as a divider that can prevent groceries from slipping. There are a handful of hooks and tie-down points to secure cargo.
The aforementioned “Mega Power” comes in the form of USB ports and power outlets built into the wall of the frunk, opening up possibilities like charging appliances or power tools while on the go.
No exhaust emissions and quick acceleration are cool and all. But I could see that the Lightning’s frunk was the factor pushing some more hesitant buyers to the brink. And while I can immediately see how useful the frunk could be, surely future Lightning owners will come up with a lot of innovative uses that no one expected.