ATL Fuel Cells

Whilst at Rob Smallshaw’s new Lotus Dealership launch in Milton Keynes today, got chatting with Steve & Denise White. I’d briefly met Steve & Denise a couple times previously, at Cadwell (I think!) in 2002, & the Donington Lotus Show earlier this year.I knew Steve had an S1 Exige, & that he did the occasional trackday.

Standing next to Russ’s race, in the middle of the showroom, Steve enquired as what type of fuel cell was in the car, because he just developed one for the factory for Elises/Exiges. Steve & Denise are American, & it turns out that he works at ATL’s European Division, which is located about 1.5 miles from Rob’s showroom. I asked Steve which area of the business he worked in, & (to my embarassment!!!) he replied that he was the local MD

“Would you like to have a look around the factory, & see how we make the products?”, asked Steve. “You bet” was the instant response, so myself 83man & 83boy (Mike & James Stripe)were priveliged to have a guided tour, with the added bonus being that one of the designers, Brian, was also there busily working with CAD, on a fuel cell for an un-named F1 team’s 2006 car. Brian kindly demonstrated some of the processes involved in the design, before Steve took us in the factory to see fuel cells in their various stages of manufacture.

Mike, James & myself were gobsmacked by the intricacies, & levels of technical skills involved throughout the whole of the design/manufacture, bearing in mind that although racing/rally car fuel cells have to be made from FIA approved materials eg kevlar sheeting, each one is a bespoke design for its particular application.

As well as supplying nearly all (if not all?) F1 teams, ATL is the approved supplier for the A1 GP cars & Formula Nissan, as well as many of the top names in GT & Sports racing cars, & WRC rally cars.

I will never look at a fuel tank in the same way again

Thanks again, Steve & Denise, your hospitality was very much appreciated by the 3 of us

So how much then for an exige one ?

So how much then for an exige one ?

Absolutely no idea! It wasn’t appropriate to ask that question yesterday, although I guess they won’t be inexpensive, see Demon Tweeks

This is wierd i picked up my laptop tonight with the intention of finding ATL’s web site so i could get some info on their fuel cells, I have now officially had enough of feul surge and having to run a full tank all the time.

So thanks for going posting the link, must be fate

This site has always been useful but anticipating my next upgrade is above and beyond the call of duty

I had an ATL cell in my sprint Mini - got it at a rather good price as it was a spare for a “works” rally car …

Had it in one year and then found out they only last 5 years before you have to change them ( you can get it checked for one further year I beleive ) to suit the FIA or whatever regs … and mine was 5 years old

Only mention it as if your Sprinting or racing, and have a logbook you can get caught out if your scrutineer is like many are

Yes, absoluely fascinating stuff. They make a number of standard pattern items which is what the thieves sell. I believe a bespoke cell starts at about $4000. And, yes, they do cover the entire F1 grid I believe… mind blowing pressures in the design and productiona areas at times I suspect . Steve mentioned that they had supplied 50 cells for the new A1 series and that, having seen the antics of the first outing that there might be some repaet business there …No wonder Brian was hard at work on Saturday having been in till 10pm on Friday…

I think tthe FIA certification is for 7 years but I could be wrong.

Many, many thanks to Steve for a mind stretching interlude in a good day out… I think 83 boy is sending in a CV…

I think 83 boy is sending in a CV…

Best of luck James, if it were up to me, I’d have you on the payroll, no messing

PS That’s provided your holidays co-incide with our annual “Le Mans Ladz Lash”

This site has always been useful but anticipating my next upgrade is above and beyond the call of duty

Spooky, isn’t it?


Advanced Fuel Systems is another fuel cell supplier.

I have the impresision they are also slightly cheaper (750 quid Vs 900, not that they’re cheap though).

Have spoken with both companies on the phone, very helpful the both of them.

I think tthe FIA certification is for 7 years but I could be wrong.

I think that’s what i read on their site… 5 years then a pressure inspection following which you get another 2 years… obviously excellent stuff but when the tank costs more than the fuel you gotta ask… ‘do i really need this’

I am visting the UK the second week of Nov. to pickup an AFS, not an ATL cell. After much deliberate thought, I decided I’d buy from the little guy :slight_smile: The analogy would be purchasing from QED vs. Judd; Quaife vs. Hewland; Lotus vs. Porsche (!).