Plymouth, Michigan – Optimal Electric Vehicles, LLC (Optimal-EV) and Olathe Ford, one of the nation’s largest Ford Commercial Vehicle Centers “CVC’s”, announced a new partnership in the Sales and Distribution of Optimal-EV’s “Best in Class” E1 series battery-electric cutaway chassis platform. Under the partnership terms, Optimal will supply Olathe E1 Battery Electric Chassis for sales and distribution to Olathe’s extensive customer base in the market segments of school buses, commercial trucks and buses, ambulance, recreational vehicles, and fleet trucks. The partnership covers Optimal-EV’s entire fleet of all-electric E1 chassis platforms and provides Optimal with an initial order of “200” E1 cutaway chassis.

The E1 features an all-electric, zero-emission drive system designed to enable more than 125 miles of driving range. Optimal’s E1 chassis will utilize Proterra’s high-performance battery systems, which have industry-leading energy density, a flexible design to fit within a wide variety of vehicles, and rigorous pack level validation designed for safe and durable vehicle operation. Optimal’s E1 chassis features a unique rear-drive system, enabling the integration of Proterra’s industry-leading battery platform with 113 kWh of energy capacity located entirely between the chassis frame rails. Optimal’s rear-drive design makes possible a much easier aftermarket body integration. The vehicle can fully charge in about two hours with optional DC fast charging. The all-electric E1 will feature a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 14,500 pounds.

“Optimal-EV is expanding the accessibility of EV technology to more commercial vehicle market segments by introducing the industry’s first all-electric rear-drive cutaway chassis, offering a smoother, quieter rider experience to the commercial vehicle operator, while producing zero tailpipe emissions for improved air quality and public health.” said Dan Daniels Optimal’s COO. “Olathe’s expertise and experience in the commercial market segment makes them an ideal and trusted partner for Optimal as we deliver this new product.” 

“We are excited to partner with Optimal-EV in the sales and distribution of battery-electric chassis for the North American electric vehicle market, as commercial urban fleets are an ideal use case for EV technology,” said Olathe CEO Marc McEver. “Olathe recognizes the importance of global sustainability efforts, and we are pleased to deliver green technology options to our customers, in addition to Olathe’s best-in-class customer service and support, proven in commercial vehicle sales exceeding 250,000 vehicles since our beginning.”

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The E1 is Engineered and manufactured in the U.S., combining 33 years of Optimal’s automotive design and CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) optimization and validation expertise, culminating in safe, reliable and durable automotive-grade products with the efficiency and performance of a factory installed, fully integrated electric power system.

Earlier this year, Optimal-EV and Proterra, a leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, announced a partnership to leverage Proterra’s best-in-class battery technology and charging systems for the development of the industry’s first all-electric S1LF low-floor cutaway shuttle bus for the North American market. Today’s announcement builds on this partnership by applying Proterra’s electric vehicle technology to Optimal-EV’s new commercial electric chassis platform.

The E1 will debut at NTEA’s Work Truck Week in March 2021 and be available for commercial purchase in Q2 of 2021. The E1 is the first of several planned commercial electric chassis platforms from Optimal-EV for use in a variety of applications.

About Optimal-EV

Optimal-EV is the market leader in the design, validation and manufacturing of zero-emission electric low-floor shuttle buses. Their suite of low-floor vehicle configurations and equipment options are quiet and ecologically efficient, making them ideal for the seamless migration of your current fleet to being zero-emission. Optimal’s journey into vehicle electrification began in 2015, with the integrated 33 years of automotive design/development and superior CAE (computer aided engineering) optimization skills, and is now augmented by a seasoned bus manufacturing operations team. Leveraging multi-industry insight and innovative approach to engineering and vehicle manufacturing, they identify and integrate the best industry solutions for the customers. Optimal proudly designs, engineers and manufactures vehicles in America, with our engineering and research center in Plymouth, Michigan and manufacturing center in Elkhart, Indiana.

Source: Optimal-EV