|The front storage compartment (Frunk) of my i3 after driving a few weeks on the salt-covered winter roads of New Jersey - yuck!|
|It looked a little better when I first got the car. Of course everything looks better new, but being exposed to all the elements means you really can't store anything up there that isn't waterproof & durable|
|Leaves can make their way into the frunk also, as found out by BMW i3 Facebook group member, Michal Cierniak|
So why didn't BMW make this area waterproof? I have never gotten an official answer but my guess is because it would add weight and cost. Plus, since it is such a small compartment, they figured the vast majority of people would only use it for things like extension cords, a tool kit and the occasional use EVSE, all of which are OK to get wet once in a while. They probably also figured most people would get a bag to put those items in, and they even sell one such as the one that I have. Because I have an Electronaut Edition i3, mine was free and embroidered "Electronaut Edition." It keeps the items in the bag clean and dry, but the bag itself gets very dirty and isn't really pleasant to handle when it's covered in dust and now road salt.
Which one would you prefer to handle?
The i3 has a lot of mechanical components up in the frunk area; they are just hidden by the removable screens on both sides of the frunk. Once you remove these snap on screens, you can see that area looks basically like a traditional ICE engine compartment, minus the engine of course. The storage compartment only occupies a small section of that area as opposed to the Model S. Since the Model S is so much larger than the i3, Tesla was able to utilize a huge portion of the area under the hood for storage, creating a large front trunk which they called the frunk and still have enough room to fit whatever mechanical parts they located up there. The i3 didn't have much space to spare since the front area of the car is so small, so the storage compartment seems like more of an afterthought than something that was a well planned design feature.
|After removing the plastic frunk, and the snap-on shields on both sides of it, what you see looks very similar to a conventional gasoline or diesel powered car (minus the engine!) Photo credit: Tim Hood|
* If you want to use my car as the mold you know where to find me, and I'll be your first customer ;)