ACAT Global, one of the primary sponsors of the Arizona Concours d’Elegance, is in the process of launching a more-durable, more-efficient and less-expensive catalytic converter for cars, trucks and motorcycles. The Michigan company was established in 2010 when CEO Joseph A. Moch and global counsel Joseph W. Moch purchased the rights to the design and manufacturing process from Delphi, which along with General Motors had spent dozens of years working on the improved clean-air technology.
ACAT has begun production of the catalytic converters and soon expects to announce agreements with a U.S. automaker, which plans to use them initially in its European vehicles, and a Japanese motorcycle maker to use on its products.
The emissions-reducing exhaust components have been approved by the EPA and European counterpart, Euro 5, to be used in vehicles, said ACAT partner Matt Frankel. The company is currently working toward getting the catalytic converters through California’s stringent CARB testing for cars and motorcycles. Approval is expected, Frankel said, which would make ACAT’s product the first non-OEM anti-pollution system approved by CARB for motorcycles.
The ACAT system eliminates the major problems with today’s catalytic converters, which have ceramic parts that are brittle and can break or braised welds that can come apart over time. Instead, ACAT uses a honeycomb-pattern “monolith” on which the catalytic mixture of platinum, palladium and rhodium is applied. The monolith is a solid part that had been proven durable by GM through hundreds of thousands of miles of testing.
The device also requires significantly less precious metals than conventional units, making it more cost-effective as well as lighter, Frankel added. It improves exhaust flow by reducing back pressure and has been shown to boost power and add fuel mileage. Because of those benefits, ACAT is preparing the converters to be produced for aftermarket sales, where it should prove popular for improving the performance and efficiency of modern vehicles.
“We do kind of expect this to explode in the next few years,” said Frankel, a Prescott, Arizona, resident and avid car collector, focusing on Ferrari.
Frankel said his Arizona connection is one reason why ACAT opted for its generous sponsorship of the Arizona Concours. He was impressed by the media coverage of the inaugural Concours in January 2014, he said, and wanted his company to be an integral part of it.
“Mostly because of two reasons,” Frankel added. “No. 1, the quality of people we expect to be there; it’s good PR because we want to be associated with high quality.
“The other thing, we’re car guys and we want to be around other car people, and we think that the aftermarket is going to be a significant part of our business.”