The Tesla Model 3's New Frunk Design Likely Means More Range Improvements

Illustration for article titled The Tesla Model 3s New Frunk Design Likely Means More Range Improvements
Photo: Tesla

While the Tesla Model Y is mostly just a crossover version of the Tesla Model 3 sedan, there were some key differences when the new model was introduced. Now, though, the Model 3 has been updated with the Y’s frunk design, which could mean it’ll get more range soon.

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One of the critical differences between the Tesla Model Y and the Tesla Model 3 it’s built upon was the redesigned front end that made room for a new heat pump, which the 3 didn’t have at the time, and still apparently doesn’t.

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Instead of a fairly traditional heat pump for temperature management of the car’s climate control system, like you might find on a combustion car, the Model 3 uses its massive electric battery pack to do the same job. The only issue is the energy used for other purposes means it won’t be used for performance and range, which has kind of been Tesla’s big thing for years.

But a new Tesla Model 3 with a redesigned frunk space was delivered to a Canadian customer recently, and the DriveTeslaCanada forums, via Roadshow, have since speculated this could mean the Model 3 will soon be getting upgraded to have the Model Y’s traditional heat pump. That would mean more energy from the battery for range and other fun.

As the forum mentions, the Model 3 received an unceremonious change to its frunk a couple of years ago already, when the automaker stopped including built-in grocery bag hooks among other small tweaks. But this latest change has resulted in a deeper, skinnier cargo space.

The rear “firewall” of the frunk, or the wall of the space towards the windshield, has also been pushed further toward the front of the car. You can see comparison images on the Tesla forum. This is likely the critical change that makes room for more mechanisms tucked around the front, like a heat pump!

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While the effect on the car’s performance would ultimately likely be minimal for most drivers, the true benefit of a heat pump on an electric vehicle is evident in cold weather, where batteries often struggle to maintain their quoted energy and efficiency levels. When it’s cold out and you need the heat to blast, you’re going to want a heat pump.

For a full breakdown of the changes to the Model Y over the Model 3 and their potential benefits, check out our detailed breakdown of the crossover with Automobile benchmarking company Munro & Associates.

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