Ford wants to turn an EV’s frunk into a work station

EVs like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning have frunks that increase storage space. But Ford is considering other uses for them.

A patent application from the automaker published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Feb. 27 (but filed on Sept. 8, 2022), describes a fold-out panel that allows EV frunks (as well as rear cargo areas) to be used as work stations.

Ford work station patent image

The work-station setup is a simple flat panel that be stowed in the frunk or other cargo area when not in use and moved into position when needed. It’s also designed to be mounted fairly high up so the frunk or cargo area can still be accessed.

This is a simpler solution than the brace of Ford mobile workplace patents that surfaced in 2023. These discussed replacing the opening mechanism of current Ford frunks, which is similar to the hood hinges of internal-combustion vehicles, with a split-opening design. They also described fitment of such things as screens, wireless charging pads, cooled storage bins, and movable work surfaces.

Ford work station patent image

Ford has also considered uses for frunk space that lean toward play rather than work. In a patent application published in 2021, the automaker showed how an integrated stereo system and other features could be added to the F-150 Lightning’s frunk to turn it into the ultimate tailgate machine.

It’s unclear if any of these features will reach production, but if they do, perhaps we’ll see them on a future refresh of the F-150 Lightning, or on Ford’s clean-sheet electric pickup, codenamed T3, that is set to debut in 2025.