Ford working on climate-controlled frunk

By automotive-mag.com 2 Min Read

EV front trunks, or frunks, provide handy storage space, but a recent Ford patent filing points to a way to make them even more useful.

The filing in question outlines giving frunks climate control. It was published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on March 19 but originally filed by Ford in 2022—roughly the same timeframe as many other frunk-related patent filings from the automaker.

Ford climate-controlled frunk patent image

In this case, Ford specifically describes climate-controlled trunks that can keep groceries or other temperature-sensitive items from getting too hot or too cold. One option discussed by Ford is having a thermal loop branch off the main climate-control loop used for the passenger cabin. But Ford also suggests giving the frunk its own mini climate-control system, with the same hardware used for the system responsible for the vehicle’s interior.

Because customers might want to keep drinks cool without turning the entire frunk into an icebox, Ford also discusses some ways of moderating the temperature in specific parts of the frunk. Dividers could be used to separate heated and cooled zones, or low-temperature air could be directed at a removable cooler secured in the frunk, according to the application.

Ford climate-controlled frunk patent image

Ford climate-controlled frunk patent image

This isn’t the first time frunk climate control has cropped up in a Ford patent application. It’s also one of the features described in a series of patent applications from the automaker that surfaced in late 2023, covering a wide variety of ideas ranging from in-frunk wireless device charging to mobile workplace setups.

Not all patented ideas make it to production. But if Ford ever decides to repeat its stunt of filling a Mustang Mach-E frunk with shrimp, as it did to accompany a press release about the frunk’s size in 2020, climate control could at least lessen the likelihood of food poisoning.

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