Optimal Electric Vehicles (Optimal-EV) announced a significant initial order for 200 battery-electric E1 chassis that will be used by Olathe Ford, one of the nation’s largest Ford Commercial Vehicle Centers.

The E1 is based on Ford’s E450 cutaway chassis platform, which means that it could be easily adapted to a variety of vehicles, including school buses, commercial trucks and buses, ambulance, recreational vehicles, and fleet trucks. The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is 14,500 pounds (6,577 kg).

Optimal-EV is equipping the E1 with Proterra's 113 kWh battery system, which should provide more than 125 miles (200 km) of range on a single charge. The optional DC charging option allows it to recharge in around two hours.

"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 presentation of the E1 is scheduled for March 2021 at NTEA’s Work Truck Week, while sales should start in Q2 2021.

In the future, Optimal-EV intends to introduce several more commercial electric chassis platforms. Earlier this year the company has shown Optimal-EV S1LF Low-Floor Shuttle Bus.

Dan Daniels Optimal’s COO said:

“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. 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.”

Olathe CEO Marc McEver said:

“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. 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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