January 31, 2024

Clarios and OPTIMA Bring Hydrogen Power to Hammertown for Off-Road EV Rally

Clarios merges a passion for off-roading and an enthusiasm for sustainability and the future of EVs at the 2024 OPTIMA Unplugged event.
Off-Road EV Rally

Today's vehicles, including internal combustion engines (ICE), hybrids (HEVs), and electric vehicles (EVs), all rely on a low-voltage power source to power critical systems and functions. Clarios is embracing new and emerging technologies and working with partners across the automotive industry to further electrification for enthusiasts and everyday drivers alike. 

That is why Clarios is partnering with our OPTIMA brand, Autel Energy and other partners for the second annual OPTIMA Unplugged, Powered by Clarios at King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley, CA on February 1-2, 2024. 

King of the Hammers is a series of grueling off-road races combining desert racing and rock crawling – bringing together more than 80,000 spectators and off-road enthusiasts to Johnson Valley for more than a week. Our OPTIMA brand has been a presenting partner for several years. Clarios hopes to make off-roading and King of the Hammers an opportunity for HEV and EV drivers to realize the full potential of their vehicles in an environment previously only available to hybrid and ICE vehicles.


EV Rally


This event unites off-road enthusiasts driving HEVs and EVs, offering a real-world test of our low-voltage batteries in challenging terrains and lots of dirt! This year, we're excited to collaborate with Renewable Innovations and introduce hydrogen-powered rapid EV charging in the desert. What’s more? We’re powering the 10-acre OPTIMA OASIS base camp with 100% clean, renewable power.

Join us as we continue to explore the electric off-road movement with new and sustainable technologies.


1. Commitment to electrification
We are playing an active role in the shift towards electrification. As the world looks to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and tackle climate change, the electrification of the automotive industry is rapidly accelerating. It has been predicted that EVs will account for two-thirds of global light-vehicle sales in 2035.

It is not every day that HEVs and EVs are powered by hydrogen in the middle of the desert, let alone at a rapid pace. We hope enthusiasts get to visualize the future of sustainable power generation for their vehicles throughout their time in Hammertown. It is a testament to our commitment to the future of mobility and sustainability.

"The commitment by Clarios and OPTIMA to off-road EV racing is opening doors for more enthusiasts and setting the stage for future events. I'm stoked to see how they use it as a proving ground for the next generation of off-road adventures," expressed Christopher Polvoorde, OPTIMA and Clarios Brand Ambassador and avid off-road racing professional.


2. Developing batteries for growing EV demands 
Clarios develops low-voltage battery solutions including advanced lead acid through Lithium-Ion for nearly every vehicle type on the road today. We are addressing the unique challenges and demands brought by the surge in HEVs and EVs popularity, especially in battery performance and sustainability. Our batteries are designed to exceed the demands of modern HEVs and EVs, with cutting-edge research in energy density, charging speeds, and highly recycled materials. We are constantly seeking solutions that create more value and increased performance, which is why we are investing in the development of low-voltage Sodium-Ion – a battery system that is inherently sustainable while offering the reliable power that vehicles demand. 


3. Unplugged events: Introducing EV off-roading at King of the Hammers 
Off-roading may not be the first thing HEV and EV owners think of when they think of the competitive edge HEVs and EVs provide. Which seemed like a great opportunity to introduce the future of HEVs and EVs in off-roading at the 2023 King of the Hammers. Helping owners enjoy their HEVs and EVs in a less than conventional way, on the trails in and around the legendary King of the Hammers off-road race.

In 2023, more than 40 HEV and EV owners cast aside their range anxiety and made the trek out to Hammertown, where we had several chargers waiting for their arrival. OPTIMA and Clarios Brand Ambassador, Tanner Foust, helped pace the group in a very capable Volkswagen ID.4, and a poker run took place at three runs. In 2024, we will play host to more than 100 HEVs and EVs, creating a unique collaboration between the electric and off-road communities. 

"The energy at King of the Hammers is electric, literally! Clarios and OPTIMA are leading the way in integrating EVs into off-roading. It is exciting to be a part of this shift," exclaimed Tanner Foust.


4. Anticipating the future of EV off-road
At Clarios, we are gearing up to lead the transition to electric off-road driving. Our vision goes beyond current HEV and EV capabilities, imagining a world where off-road vehicles are not only electric but also sustainably and efficiently powered. Events like King of the Hammers are great platforms to highlight this future, proving that HEVs and EVs can match and even outperform their gas-powered counterparts off-road.

Looking towards a future where every trail and path is sustainably conquered, we stand as a pillar of innovation and environmental responsibility. Our dedication to electrification, breakthrough low-voltage battery technology, and trailblazing Unplugged events at King of the Hammers are just the beginning of a journey. We are not just part of the electric off-road movement; we're proud to be part of its future.