Tesla has updated the frunk (that is, the front trunk) of the Model 3, making it smaller. At the moment, the reasons that have led the brand to make this modification are unknown, which has become one of the few physical updates that the electric sedan has received since its launch in 2017.
According to several buyers who received their Model 3 throughout the past week, Tesla did not inform them of this modification until after delivery. Some Internet users have speculated that the update has been carried out to free up space for a future heat pump, an element that already incorporates the Model Y as standard. For the moment, it has not reached any other Tesla.
A heat pump works like a reverse air conditioning system: a heat engine that takes heat from a cold space and transfers it to a warmer one. This system is much more efficient than heating using resistors such as the one currently used by the Model 3, which consumes more energy (electric cars do not have a conventional heating system like thermal models, which take advantage of the residual heat from their internal engine combustion to air-condition the passenger compartment).
Some electric cars have already been fitted with heat pump heating systems as standard for years (for example, the Renault ZOE), while others offer it as an option (this is the case of the Volkswagen ID.3). Others, however, continue to rely on heating systems using resistors.
Thanks to the use of the heat pump, on paper, the Model Y should be able to reach higher autonomies than the Model 3 in cold climates, as its heating system is much more efficient. Therefore, it is not surprising that Tesla has decided to provide the sedan with the same improvement as its older brother; not in vain, both are technically the same car.
The heat pump is not yet being installed in Model 3; however, the modification of the frunk seems to be clear proof that its arrival is imminent. Thanks to the heat pump and the new Panasonic 2170 cells, which will have a 5% higher capacity from September, possibly the Model 3 will see its official autonomy figures improve slightly.