OPTIMA Batteries, a leading brand of Clarios, has successfully held its first-ever electrified off-road vehicle event, OPTIMA Unplugged, in Johnson Valley during the King of the Hammers race week. The event was free to attend for electric vehicles capable of off-road travel, thanks to partners DCE, Volta Power Systems, and Autel Energy.

OPTIMA Unplugged 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, requiring no vehicle modifications, though all-wheel drive vehicles were a requirement for the 20-mile trail drive. The event was professionally guided by skilled drivers Tanner Foust, Christopher Polvoorde, and Michael Weiss to help enrich the experience for the electrified community.

“Bringing together like-minded individuals 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 Cam Douglass, Director of Marketing at OPTIMA Batteries. “We are grateful to all our partners and participants for taking this important first step with us. We look forward to seeing how the EV off-road community develops over the coming years.”

OPTIMA Batteries and its parent company 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 marks a historic moment as it is the first time there have ever been electric vehicle charger stations at any public off-road event, bridging the gap between the electric vehicle world and the extreme off-road racing world.

“At Clarios, we are 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 Tom Downie, Vice President of Communications at Clarios. “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.”

Apart from the rally, attendees had the chance 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 also 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 more. 

OPTIMA Unplugged was the inaugural electrified vehicle event at King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley, California.