- I tested the electric Ford F-150 Lightning in the Texas countryside.
- It’s a great truck all round, but its best feature is its front trunk, aka the frunk.
- The Lightning’s frunk is large, easily accessible, and features power outlets and USB ports.
Ford’s new electric F-150 offers a boatload of new advantages over the company’s gas-powered truck.
Despite its weight, the F-150 Lightning promises to accelerate to 60 mph in just over four seconds. It can share power from its huge battery pack with appliances, liftgate equipment or, in the event of a power outage, with an owner’s home.
And while automatic backup power can be a lifesaver in an emergency, owners don’t use it 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 in early May.
What I was able to use – and which I’m convinced is the Lightning’s greatest feature – is its front trunk. Ford calls it the Mega Power Frunk, which is an exceedingly silly name for an extremely useful feature.
As with most modern electric vehicles, the underlying structure of the F-150 Lightning looks like a giant electric skateboard. Its engines are mounted on its axles and its battery is in its belly. This means Ford can do fun things with all the space not taken up by a conventional engine.
Pop the Lightning’s “hood” and you’ll find a generous cargo area larger than the trunk of a Toyota Corolla. Of course, trucks also offer a lot of storage space. That’s kind of the whole point. But pickups generally lacked weatherproof, lockable storage, and the Frunk adds just that.
Not only is it spacious — capable of carrying a few carry-on bags and a maximum of 400 pounds — but it’s also easily accessible.
The entire grille area rises, revealing a cargo floor low enough for almost anyone to use. For comparison, the Rivian R1T, another electric pickup, has more of a traditional hood, so you have to let the cargo in from the top. This could be difficult for smaller people.
Imagine traveling in bed with four people and a bunch of bikes or camping gear. An additional trunk for bags and smaller items would be more than welcome. Or consider that some owners may want to store things permanently in their truck but don’t have them exposed in the bed.
And the Frunk offers some other cool extras.
There is additional storage space under the floor with a drain hole so owners can fill the frunk with ice or hose it down. A removable panel doubles as a divider, preventing food from sliding around. There are a handful of hooks and attachment points for securing cargo.
The aforementioned “mega power” comes in the form of USB ports and outlets built into the frunk’s wall, opening up possibilities like charging devices or power tools on the go.
Zero tailpipe emissions and brisk acceleration are cool and all. But I could see that the Flash’s frunk was the factor pushing some more hesitant buyers over the edge. And while I can immediately see how useful the Frunk could be, future Lightning owners are sure to come up with many innovative uses that no one expected.