Why no power opening for the " Frunk"? Or even cooling for this area?

Why no power opening for the " Frunk"? Or even cooling for this area?

The tech package omits this? It is likely to require opening on a daily basis, especially if a 3 rd row of seats is fitted and children are carpooled. Opening the hood of an ICE is a fiddly and heavy in operation and I don't see this car being any different in that regard, Jaguar had cooled trunks many years ago, great for all climates that a human prefers to live in, rather than a polar bear. Grocery shopping without spoiling the food?
This area is a secure zone, which a parcel shelf does not really achieve. My B class Merc has a removable blind to achieve this and is a nuisance, only used when absolutely unavoidable. | December 22, 2011

I'm guessing its because the back trunk lid is much heavier and larger and takes more effort to open than the frunk.

Max Mindel,

Volker.Berlin | December 22, 2011

dborn, frunk cooling would be... cool. :-) Although I have to say that I'd prefer a cooled storage space that is reachable from the drivers seat, such as a small fridge in the center console (sic!) or in the glove box, provided it is large enough to store some ice cream and/or beverages in it. I understand that both places would be too small to store your groceries, but if I had to choose, the in-cabin solution would seem more useful to me. I don't usually drive my groceries on a siteseeing tour for hours on end... ;-)

Regarding power opening option for the frunk, it would certainly add to the coolness! I agree that I expect to use the frunk at least as often as the trunk, if not more frequently. However even without power opening, I am not worried that it will be as fiddly and heavy to open as your next best engine hood. It isn't an engine hood, it is a front trunk lid, and as such should open and close just as quickly and easily as any trunk, even without power.

In any case, the coolness factor of a power-opening/closing frunk would be *extremely* hard to beat...!!

Robert.Boston | December 22, 2011

I had forgotten about the frunk being secure; no need for the parcel shelf, which is annoying.

Also, the security guards at the airport will never think to look in the frunk.

Leofingal | December 22, 2011

I think the frunk has to have a 2 part opening system like a normal hood so that it can't be accidentally opened while driving and obstruct your view. I think this is a safety issue.

dborn | December 22, 2011

Leofingal ... Exactly my point. There has to be a safety catch for a rear hinged hood lid. A front hinged lid has been tried in the distant past and was abandoned I think because it was unsafe in a crash as the edge could rise and be a guillotine!!!!

Volker.Berlin | January 14, 2012

This video shows a "Front Trunk" button next to a "Rear Trunk" button in the 17" GUI. I guess that means that the frunk is also powered, at least with the Tech Package installed.

Volker.Berlin | January 14, 2012

(Follow-up: I did not see any frunk temperature control though, at least in this video.)

Mycroft | January 14, 2012

I think that's just the hood release. I doubt it will be powered and definitely doubt it will be temperature controlled.

dborn | March 20, 2012

I think it is time to revisit this issue. The lack of console has been done to death!
A push button on the key fob or perhaps in the phone app would do it. Essentially a power release same as on most other cars. The opening does not need to be powered, but good gas struts need to be present to make it easy. This would address safety regulatory requirements if designed correctly.
Lots has been written by the polar bears about snow. A goodly portion of humanity lives in warm climates including in the USA. We will have the ability to remotely control the temp of the cabin from the phone app. It is really not such a stretch to include the frunk. An extra duct, Y connector, an extra relay and duct valve and you are done. Maybe not on release of the car, but surely this can be considered for implementation "down the road" and possibly made to be retrofittable? Just leave an opening in the firewall or wherever the air con unit is situated.
Come on you warm climate people - lets hear from you!!

Jason S | March 20, 2012

Given the huge amount of space in the main portion of the car and that the 'trunk' is climate controlled as well since this is a hatchback... WHY?!

Why do you need every space in this car climate controlled? What are you going to put there that you wouldn't put in the hatchback?

dborn | March 20, 2012

Perishables, things you don't want flying around the car on a long trip such as cans of soft drink, things you don't want in plain sight , or groceries if you are not going straight home, but don't want to cool the whole car.

Jason S | March 20, 2012

Aha, back to the front refrigerator idea.

Parcel shelf solves the plain site problem, but the refrigeration problem would need special care.

I say make it an option! About $1000 should cover it, I'd think. Not something I'd need, but could be useful for folks.

dborn | March 20, 2012

Also useful for picnics. A small fridge there is actually a good dea, but not for the purpose I had in mind.
How abou t usability and ease of opening?

Jason S | March 20, 2012

I actually prefer the small # of parts approach because I tend to keep cars for a very long time. Therefore the simplest, most durable opening mechanism for me.

I don't know if I'll ever use the frunk. Maybe for things that I would never plan to use but should keep on hand just-in-case: tire chains, emergency road kit, etc.

I do have a small fridge that goes in the footwell behind the seat of my current car, or in the trunk. It hooks to the 12V and I have connections in center console and in the trunk. I use it maybe 3x a year. I expect I'll use it in the Tesla too.

olanmills | March 20, 2012
Sudre_ | March 20, 2012

I need the Frunk refrigerated and able to hold a seal for the dead bodies I plan on hauling around.....

Brian H | March 20, 2012

pedestrians who didn't hear you coming?

Sudre_ | March 20, 2012

There is a school for the blind 2 blocks from my house!

olanmills | March 20, 2012

BTW (referring to the video link I posted above), I don't think it's powered, but the release is on the touchscreen, and you can see that it fully opens with one press. That's not to say that's the final design though.

As Leofringal mentioned It is possible that a secondary manual latch could help prevent accidental opening while driving, but I don't really think that's necessary.

Usability wise, the frunk is meant to be used like the trunk, so it should open with one action. It would be pretty annoying if it worked like the hood of most cars. How to the hoods of rear-engine cars normally work?

Crow | March 20, 2012

I prefer the frunk to be made into a hot tub. Hey ladies.

stevenmaifert | March 20, 2012

From a safety standpoint, I like the idea of the Frunk opening like a conventional hood. If it turns out to open like a conventional trunk lid, then I hope the touch screen and key fob actuation is disabled after a predetermined speed is reached, like maybe 10mph. I also hope I can disable the touch screen actuation manually so it doesn't accidentally get triggered in stop and go traffic by a passenger exploring the wonders of the touch screen while I'm driving and paying attention to the road.

William13 | March 20, 2012

Steven, the frunk release should be disabled unless in PARK. I expect this is a regulation. If it isn't it should be.

dborn | March 20, 2012

given the video showing the reese and popping of the frunk from the touchscreen, that answers one of my concerns, provided one can achieve the same thing from outside the car - i.e. from the key fob or iPhone app. I don't see why not, given that it appears to be an electric release and not cable driven.

BYT | March 20, 2012

Pool in the frunk? Kiss the 300 mile range goodbye but hello bragging rights!!

brianman | March 20, 2012

@JasonS - "Why do you need every space in this car climate controlled? What are you going to put there that you wouldn't put in the hatchback?"

8th passenger.

Volker.Berlin | March 21, 2012

Watch from about 1:47 (olanmills)

BOAAH! :-) I was a the show but I missed that part. Too bad. So obviously the frunk does open by itself, at least in this particular beta model. I'm not sure its actually powered, it may be (gas) spring loaded, which is entirely fine as far as I'm concerned.

Michael37 | March 29, 2012

I recently had about $5000 of property (all in one computer bag) stolen from my RAV4-EV while it was parked in a friend's driveway. The RAV has no secure storage at all. Break a window, and you can get to anything in the car. I would love to use the "frunk" every day as the place that I put my laptop bag when I drive to and from work and on errands.

For this purpose, a release button on the key fob would be *extremely* useful. I don't need it to motor up, but I would certainly like it to be able to be unlatched as I walk to the car and press a button.

I would use this far more often than the power rear gate. In fact, if the fob can't open both, then I would be happy if I could assign the button to either unlatch the frunk or open the gate.

By the way, regarding the video, I think the guy in the gray shirt standing in front of the car bends down just before the guy pushes the button, and he lifts the hood once it unlatches.

Michael37 | March 29, 2012

(Obviously, I am also assuming that the frunk can't be opened if you smash your way into the car, unless you have the key fob.)

flar | March 30, 2012

Lol. I love the guy saying "No, it's not working" when he reaches for the sunroof control at the end. When I was sitting in one of the betas with a sales guy he said the same thing, right after I hit the point of no return on my finger reaching for the control (his comment registered a few milliseconds after I touched the button). And, guess what - actually it was working. ;) But, he quickly hit the close button. I guess "not working" means "will likely slide off the back of the car if we let it open too far" or something...

Robert.Boston | March 30, 2012

The great thing about the frunk is that only the cognoscenti will have any idea that there's anything other than a hulking ICE up there. A truly secure spot!

Robert22 | March 31, 2012

Potential frunk cooling?

I think we're frooling ourselves.

( I'll be here all week)

Teoatawki | March 31, 2012

Don't forget to tip your waitress

Crow | March 31, 2012

Try the veal.

gjunky | April 1, 2012

I would love a cooled frunk too. It would be great way in the summer to store your groceries (I am in Arizona and groceries will stay cool for about .001 seconds in the summer here once the AC turns off). Having a cooled Frunk that can be cooled even if you are away from the car would be wonderful. I don't want to try and keep the entire car cooled in the summer while it is sitting in the sun (there is no shade in parking lots here). I don't want to try this for any extend period of time either. Just long enough that you can walk in another couple stores and don't have to plan my grocery shopping as the last stop :)

Opening the frunk from the remote would be very handy as well. Especially as it would otherwise be a touch screen operation and this would be rather painful with a handful of groceries.

Nick Kordich | April 1, 2012

@gjunky - my current plan is to get at least two of the large foil bags I've seen at grocery stores, if only for pizza. In addition to locking in the heat, it would seal away the aroma and any grease from the box, protecting my frunk.*

I currently have a cooler I use for groceries. A couple of bottles of water kept in the freezer will help keep the contents cold, as well as give you an emergency supply or water in case you are grounded by one of Arizona's lovely dust storms.

* - By the way, for those thinking of Snow Crash right now: ignoring air resistance and inefficiencies of a launch system, firing a pound of bacon into the asteroid belt requires only 3.6kWh of energy, so the Model S with a 85kWh battery may store up to 23.6 times the energy of the Deliverator's car. Ignoring air resistance is taking a lot for granted, however. For those not thinking of Snow Crash...never mind.

Discoducky | April 1, 2012

I think what you need is:

1. 12V access in the frunk
2. Insulated hood
3. Counterbalanced hood for easy open and close
4. Self closing once latched

FYI: I noticed in the Bellevue store Range estimator that A/C really reduces range (not nearly as much as the heater). It was more than I expected. Another reason I'm happy don't need A/C very much in Seattle.

jbunn | April 1, 2012

I plan on using the frunk and the rear cargo cover soley as a source of amusement. I plan on letting people not-quite-clear on the electric car concepy play "find the engine". I also considered driving through Jiffy Lube for the same reason. Let them hunt for the tranny, differential, and oil plug.

BYT | April 2, 2012

Put all the seats down as they would wonder, OK, so it's an electric, but where are all the batteries? Shouldn't it be between the rear seats and the trunk?

Can't wait to put a portable cooler in there full of ice and some brews and roll up on a hot summer day to pop open the frunk to reveal all my camping gear there as well. Actually, I may put all the seats down, get an air mattress and sleep on that instead. Why rough it when I can see the night sky through the pano roof anyway?

Can't wait to hear stories like these from you all as well in about a year?

MandL | April 2, 2012

Puts me in mind of my favorite Candid Camera episode where Fanny Flagg rolled down a hill and into a service station in a car with no engine. "I'm sure it was in there when I left home!"

EdG | April 2, 2012

@BYT: and in an air conditioned environment, if you're plugged in to the campsite.

Brian H | April 2, 2012

I imagine a night of A/C off the battery wouldn't be too much of a hit.

Mike_ModelS_P457 | April 2, 2012

@jbunn - I have been planning a similar ruse. My small town gas station in Weston, CT tried to do an inspection on my Escape Hybrid (way back in '05) and flunked me because they couldn't get the engine to start to test the emissions. When I pull in with the Model S they are probably going to stare at it slack jawed for a few minutes trying to find the tailpipe.

Then again, I also had an issue at a garage in Tribecca, near my office in NY, where they left the car on, on a lift, for about 10 hours. When I picked it up the tank was empty and there were warning lights galore. That was when I learned that without gas an HEV is just like an ICE... it needs to be towed.

olanmills | April 2, 2012

I was at the Tesla store in Bellevue the other day, and I was amused by the fact that multiple people were looking at the car and surprised that there was no visible motor or engine. I suppose the concept of a fully electric car is foreign to most people, and couple that with what is to me a disturbingly common trend of ignorance about technology, math, and science (it seems common to regard technology as almost magical and to even bother understanding the basics to be above them), and I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

Brian H | April 2, 2012


Clarke's 3 laws of prediction:

1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Delete Me Knapp | April 3, 2012

Someone (on TMC I think) has a footer along the lines of:

Any sufficiently rigged demonstration is indistinguishable from advanced technology.

I can say from experience (on both sides of the table) that this is absolutely true!

Teoatawki | April 3, 2012

Corollary to Clarke's law:
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.

Mark E | April 3, 2012

The anti-science trend appears to be a worldwide problem. It's not just new technology that gets shunned as 'too hard'. I'm amazed at how ignorant man people are about the cars they drive every day. I recently had to help a colleague who couldn't start their car. A flat battery in he Immobiliser was the culprit.

Many have no concept of science at all, and basic mates or critical thought is beyond them. Every one has said that electric cars are slow, expensive and with no range.


Mark E

BYT | April 3, 2012

@Mark, can't blame them about their misconceptions of the Electric car. If you look at what is out there right now that doesn't have a Tesla Motors badge on it, then they are right to say they are slow, expensive and have no range.

My biggest fear is that this ignorance continues and effects TM's bottom line over time, that would be truly sad and a disaster of epic proportions.

I'm not saying that Tesla Motors needs to advertise and change people's minds just yet however. After they have filled all the orders out there for the Model S, they take it to the masses to let them know, Class is in Session!!

brianman | April 3, 2012

"Every one has said that electric cars are slow, expensive and with no range."

I think you're reading too much into this one.

Of vehicles on public roads, can you name 1 example that is fast, inexpensive, and has good range?

If the quote was "will always be" or "must be", *then* it fits your premise.

Brian H | April 3, 2012

BYT | April 3, 2012 new
they are slow, expensive and have no range.

My biggest fear is that this ignorance continues and effects TM's bottom line over time, that would be truly sad and a disaster of epic proportions.

Just look on it as the perfect set-up. Makes the moment of enlightenment all the more dramatic and potent! {Remember?}