Cardboard boxes have a seemingly endless amount of uses, with just a tad bit of imagination; they can be turned into anything. For this particular situation, a cardboard box was recruited by Ford and used to help develop the Mega Power Frunk of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck launching in Spring of 2022.
Moving back in time to February 2018, a small group of user experience designers made their way to California to meet with Ford truck and fleet customers and talk about how they might use such a feature. The prototype was constructed out of cardboard and took about a day to build with the help of scissors and hot glue. It was brought to every meeting and gave customers a visual reference to imagine just how they might go about utilizing it.
Customers imagined fitting not just one but two golf bags into the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning prototype frunk, giving additional and secure storage to keep valuables out of sight from prying eyes. Meanwhile, fleet owners saw their crews using the space to haul bags of concrete and switch out their electric tools at job sites. Lights to see at night, electrical outlets, a work surface, and optimized access height also came to the table while looking at the repurposed cardboard box. The research team worked as consultants alongside engineering and design in the studio, which led to a close collaboration between the groups to bring about the Mega Power Frunk found exclusively on the Ford F-150 Lighting.
2002 Ford F-150 Lightning Mega Power Frunk
While it seems a bit superfluous to brand a cargo area, the Lightning’s Mega Power Frunk offers 400 liters of cargo space, and a maximum payload capacity of 400 pounds. That didn’t come without its challenges, as its ability to fit two golf bags (in case the second row of the cab or the bed space was all taken up) meant that the symmetrical design needed to be sacrificed. The team then treated it like a cooler box that needed to be durable, and easy to clean. On top of that, the Ford engineers also needed to find ways to add all the features on the customer wish list.
By the end of it all, truck bed lamps were installed in the frunk hood, which prevented cargo from blocking the lights and removed the unwanted glare and shadowing of the load area. Next, four electrical outlets and two USB chargers were added. Providing 2.4 kilowatts of power which can power up anything from TVs to crockpots. Lastly, the waterfall grille was integrated into the hood to create accessibility height similar to the rear cargo area of a Ford Expedition. The F-150 Lightning’s Mega Power Frunk has a powered open and close system with six ways to open it. The frunk is entirely water-resistant and has a drainable floor for easy cleaning or draining out ice water since it can also function as an ice chest.