The keen-eyed among you might have noticed something peculiar about the new Mustang Mach-E‘s styling – yes, it does not have a door handle. In the pursuit of utmost efficiency, car manufacturers – especially in the EV world – have devised several ingenious solutions to reduce drag while on the move.
While most EV carmakers such as Tesla and Jaguar utilise pop-out door handles that sits flush with the door panel when closed, Ford has taken it to the next level by removing the door handle completely.
How do you get in to the car then, you might ask? Aside from a regular key fob, the Mach-E is equipped with the Phone As A Key Technology. Once your smartphone is paired up through the application, the car is able to detect your approach using Bluetooth, and automatically unlock the doors.
With a press of a small round button on the pillars, the door unlatches and opens by approximately four inches. If you’re opening the front doors, the next step is to pull on the tiny grab handle right on the belt-line and pull the door open.
As for the rear doors, the process is roughly similar to opening the front doors, except there are no handles here. Once the door unlatches, you’ll have to reach into the slit, where a grip pad allows you to pull the door open.
You might think that putting your hand in between an ajar door might sound dangerous, but according to TechCrunch, Ford has thought it through and designed an immediate safety system to prevent any nasty accidents.
If your key or smartphone’s batteries do run out, you’ll still be able to get into the car, too. On the B-pillars, a keypad shines through the black trim, allowing you to key-in a back-up four-digit code to unlock the car. Once inside, another four-digit code is required before you can drive it off.
Ford has also built in a supercapacitor in each door as a backup power source, in case your car’s battery is completely depleted (or damaged). And if all else fails, the front doors do have an emergency mechanical latch on the inside to allow yourself out of the car.
However, we’re unsure how a set-up like this would work in an event of an accident, and in particular with emergency responders from the outside. Our semi-educated guess based on past examples points to a hidden keyhole somewhere on the door, but we’ll have to wait for confirmation from Ford.