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Optima Batteries Hosts First Ever Off-Road Event

Optima Batteries has successfully hosted its first-ever electrified off-road vehicle event during the dust and roar of King of the Hammers race week. The Optima Unplugged event took place in Johnson Valley and was free to attend for electric vehicles capable of off-road travel, thanks to the support of partners DCE, Volta Power Systems, and Autel Energy.

The event, designed as an entry-level off-road adventure, was a poker-run style rally that allowed participants to explore the rugged Johnson Valley in their own electric vehicles. The 20-mile trail drive required all-wheel drive vehicles but did not require any modifications. The event was professionally guided by skilled drivers Tanner Foust, Christopher Polvoorde, and Michael Weiss to help enrich the experience for the electrified community.

Optima Batteries’ Director of Marketing, Cam Douglass, expressed his satisfaction with the event and stated,

“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. 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.”

The event was historic in many ways, as it featured the first-ever electric vehicle charging stations at any public off-road event. Optima Batteries and Clarios partnered with Autel Energy to provide eight Level 2 fast chargers for all EVs and HEVs in need of charging throughout the entire week at King of the Hammers. This groundbreaking move bridged the gap between the electric vehicle world and the extreme off-road racing world, promoting responsible and sustainable practices in the off-road racing industry.

In addition to the rally, attendees could 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. Clarios’ Vice President of Communications, Tom Downie, emphasized that the company is committed to the evolving future of transportation and the role EVs will play.

The Optima Unplugged event was the inaugural electrified vehicle event at King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley, California. Those interested in future Optima Unplugged events are encouraged to follow @OptimaBatteries on Instagram or visit OptimaBatteries.com for more information.

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Graeme Bell is an author and explorer who has dedicated his life to traveling the planet by land, seeking adventure and unique experiences. Together with his wife and two children, Graeme has spent the last decade living permanently on the road in a self-built Land Rover based camper. They have explored 27 African countries (including West Africa), circumnavigated South America, and driven from Argentina to Alaska, which was followed by an exploration of Europe and Western Asia before returning to explore the Americas. Graeme is the Senior Editor 4WD for Expedition Portal, a member of the Explorers Club, the author of six books, and an Overland Journal contributor since 2015. You can follow Graeme's adventures across the globe on Instagram at graeme.r.bell