Can You Still Open the Rivian Electric Truck’s Frunk if Its Battery Is Dead?

The Rivian R1T is the first electric pickup truck to market. In the place of a traditional internal combustion motor, it has a spacious front trunk (or frunk) under its hood. Its hood opens via remote or phone app. Luckily there is a cable release you can use to open this frunk if all the truck’s batteries are completely dead, but getting in will be an ordeal.

What is the Rivian electric truck’s frunk?

The Rivian electric truck has a storage compartment under its hood instead of a traditional engine. It is called the front trunk, or frunk.

Dark green Rivian electric truck parked in a showroom with its doors and front trunk open.
2022 Rivian R1T | Jamie Kelter Davis/Bloomberg

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This is possible because electric motors are smaller than internal combustion motors. The Rivian’s quad-motor drivetrain fits inside its frame, nearer the level of its wheels. Combined with its battery pack, the resulting flat chassis is often referred to as a “skateboard” drivetrain.

But the Rivian R1T has a normal-height hood. Beneath this hood, it offers 11 cubic feet of lockable, waterproof storage space. This frunk is 25.4 inches long, 54.8 inches wide, and 22.7 inches deep. The Rivian’s front trunk even offers a 12-volt power outlet and a removable shelf to partition off the space.

The Rivian Owner’s Manual and other literature do not refer to this front trunk as a “frunk.” That word is just slang that is increasingly common for EV drivers.

How do you open the Rivian R1T’s frunk?

There are four electronic ways to open the Rivian frunk: through the truck’s infotainment menu, with the R1T’s key fob, with the button on the front grille of the truck, or with an emergency release “entrapment” button inside the frunk.

Woman holding a key fob and opening the frunk of a Blue Rivian R1T electric pickup truck in a parking lot.
2021 Rivian R1T | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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The R1T features a pair of 12-volt batteries to operate its electronic latches, even if its main battery is dead. But what if you run your electric Rivian truck completely out of battery power? In this case, all of these electronic opening methods would not be able to open the frunk. Luckily, Rivian has you covered with an emergency mechanical latch for its front trunk. But it won’t be easy.

If the Rivian electric truck has no power and thus its hood won’t open, you must access its emergency hood release cable. To get to this cable, you will first need to unscrew the left-front wheel well liner. Then you must lower the front skid plate, and locate a cable loop behind the wheel well liner. Pulling down on this loop should release the hood latch, though if its stuck you may need to press down on the hood to pull the release cable.

Could you get trapped in the front trunk of the Rivian truck?

The Rivian front trunk–or frunk–is large enough for some people to fit into. Rivian does warn that it is not a safe space for a human to ride, or even sit. But the automaker does install an illuminated “entrapment” button that will release the front trunk.

A man setting a cooler in the front trunk of a silver Rivian electric truck parked on a stage.
2021 Rivian R1T | Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

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The Rivian electric truck does prevent you from opening the hood while the vehicle is moving at higher speeds. So if you found yourself inside the frunk and then someone else began to drive the Rivian around, you would be trapped until they slowed down.

In addition, the entrapment button releases the hood’s electronic latch. So if you climbed into the Rivian’s frunk and then its battery became completely depleted or it lost power for a mechanical issue, you would be trapped until someone pulled the mechanical hood release cable.

Next, find out if you can get trapped in the Rivian’s gear tunnel or see the Rivian truck’s storage spaces for yourself in the video below:

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