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Optimal Electric Vehicles secures initial order for 200 EV chassis; partnership with Olathe Ford

Optimal Electric Vehicles and Olathe Ford, one of the nation’s largest Ford Commercial Vehicle Centers (CVCs), announced a new partnership in the sales and distribution of Optimal-EV’s 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 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 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 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.

The E1 is Engineered and manufactured in the US, 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 announced a partnership to leverage Proterra’s 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.

The latest 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.


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