OPTIMA Holds First Ever Off-Road EV Meet

The first-ever EV-only off-road event of its kind brought more than 40 electric vehicles together during King of the Hammers race week
OPTIMA held its first all-electric OPTIMA Unplugged event during King of the Hammers.

OPTIMA Batteries did something that most people 10 years ago, even some now, thought was impossible as it held its first-ever electrified off-road vehicle event. OPTIMA Unplugged was held in Johnson Valley during the King of the Hammers race week and was free to attend for electric vehicles capable of off-road travel, thanks to partners DCE, Volta Power Systems, and Autel Energy.

The event was a poker-run style rally, where participants explored the beautiful and rugged Johnson Valley in their own electric vehicles. The tour was designed as an entry-level off-road adventure and did not require any vehicle modifications, though all-wheel drive vehicles were a requirement for the 20-mile trail drive. OPTIMA Unplugged was professionally guided by skilled drivers Tanner Foust, Christopher Polvoorde, and Michael Weiss to help enrich the experience for the electrified community.

“Bringing like-minded individuals together and helping the electrified community navigate the off-road world was our goal for this event, and that’s what being an enthusiast is all about,” said OPTIMA Batteries Director of Marketing Cam Douglass. “We can’t thank all of our partners and participants enough for taking this important first step with us. We’re excited to see how the EV off-road community develops over the coming years.”

OPTIMA partnered with Autel Energy to provide eight Level 2 fast chargers for use on the lakebed.

Autel Energy actually provided two DC Level III fast chargers and Wallbox supplied 8 level II chargers for all EVs and HEVs in need of charging throughout the entire week at King of the Hammers. Bringing electric charging to a dry lakebed in the middle of the desert was a feat in itself.

“At Clarios, we’re committed to the evolving future of transportation and the role EVs will play. Our partnership with Autel Energy to provide electric vehicle charging stations at this event is a testament to our commitment,” said Clarios Vice President of Communications Tom Downie. “We are proud to play a role in bringing together everyday EV owners and the extreme off-road racing world to promote responsible and sustainable practices in the off-road racing industry.”

In addition to the rally, attendees had the opportunity to ride with Dave Cole in the world’s first fully electric Ultra4 race car. The OPTIMA Batteries Overland Rivian R1S and R1T with Power Stations trailers that debuted at the 2022 SEMA Show were present along with an eclectic group of electric-reliant vehicles such as the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, Ford Lightning, Tesla-swapped off-road vehicles, Tanner Foust’s off-road racing VW ID4 and many more.

Tanner Foust’s off-road racing VW ID4 took part in the OPTIMA Unplugged event.

OPTIMA Unplugged was the inaugural electrified vehicle event at King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley, California. For more information on future OPTIMA Unplugged events, be sure to visit OPTIMA’s website.