Automakers, dealers, and fleets are implementing changes to hit two key targets: cost containment and meeting environmental goals. That runs the gamut from the vehicles to facilities management, with energy efficiency and cost savings being top priorities. Dealers are becoming LEED-certified, automakers are making plants more energy efficient, and fleets are looking for ways to reduce operating costs along with carbon emissions.
Abrams Consulting Group, Inc. (ACG), the leading specialized consulting and research firm serving the global vehicle rental and lease industries for over three decades, and SOMS Technologies LLC (SOMS), the manufacturer of the microGreen® Extended Performance Oil Filter, are working together to bring a vehicle maintenance solution to new market segments. The two companies have announced a collaborative effort to introduce the microGreen filter into the car rental and fleet management industry sectors.
The two-in-one filter design combines a high-quality full-flow filter with a patented microfilter system to maintain oil quality over time. The difference with traditional oil filters is huge – the microGreen oil filter program allows the vehicle owner to replace engine oil every 30,000 miles as compared to a more standard 3,000–7,000 miles, depending on normal practice and manufacturer guidelines. The filter fits most light- and medium-duty vehicles, and is installed and removed like a conventional oil filter.
Car rental companies stay on top of maintenance – their vehicles are extensively used and add mileage faster than other fleets. “The car rental industry is one where…. vehicle maintenance, including oil, filters, and labor, is a significant expense, and there is mounting pressure to improve the environmental profile and reduce the carbon footprint,” said Miles Flamenbaum, president of SOMS. The microGreen filter “can significantly reduce oil and filter maintenance costs while helping to protect the environment.”
Neil Abrams, ACG founder and president, has worked with car rental companies and suppliers on cost containment – and in more recent years on environmental sustainability goals. “Over our 32 year history, it has been extremely rare that ACG would work with a product manufacturer of a mundane, after-market replacement part such as an oil filter,” Abrams said. “However, after reviewing the success already achieved by the microGreen filter with tens of millions of miles of testing and hundreds of millions of miles of usage in commercial fleets, as well as undertaking an analysis of the benefits to be derived by rental and fleet operators, the value proposition was obvious and compelling. There are potential annual savings of 10s or 100s of thousands of dollars — millions of dollars in some cases — depending on the size of the fleet.”
SOMS has been working with fleets since 2009 – police departments, limos and taxis, school buses, carsharing, and telecommunications companies, among others. “The fleet manager is looking at rising costs in vehicle acquisition and maintenance,” Flamenbaum said. “When oil prices go up, that goes into engine oil. Fleets need to keep their costs down.”
Carbon credits are being looked at more carefully these days by fleets, Flamenbaum said. But for fleets, the microGreen filter offers a more direct approach – just like LED light bulbs offer with energy efficiency. “They look at low-hanging fruit,” he said. “It’s a small piece of the puzzle, but an easy part, based on efficiency.”