Dana Corporation and Permo-Drive Technologies Ltd. announced today that they have signed an exclusive licensing agreement for the design, development, and supply of the Permo-Drive Regenerative Drive System (RDS) for use in the U.S. Army's Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTVs). The Army has indicated its intent to introduce a hybrid drive system into its FMTVs -- possibly as soon as 2006.Under terms of the agreement, Dana will be the production development source and the sole supplier of the RDS technology for this family of vehicles.Permo-Drive's RDS system is an innovative hydraulic regenerative braking and propulsion system suitable for most medium and heavy-duty vehicles. When a vehicle accelerates, considerable energy is required. With a conventional system, that energy is lost when the vehicle brakes to a slower speed. Utilizing the RDS, the energy normally lost during braking can be stored as hydraulic oil under pressure. This pressure can be selectively released as an acceleration boost to bring the vehicle back to the desired speed. RDS benefits include increases of up to 30 percent in fuel economy, substantially improved brake life, an improvement in acceleration, and reduced emissions. The technology also has the potential to provide an increase in load-carrying capacity for the FMTV through its improved braking and propulsion performance."Our RDS technology provides an excellent return on investment for military and commercial users alike, as it is a much more cost-effective solution than other hybrid technologies," said Willem de Vylder, CEO of Permo-Drive Technologies Ltd. "Perhaps the most compelling aspect of our technology is that it can be employed in fleets of existing vehicles, as the Permo-Drive system can easily be retrofitted."Currently, Dana plans to supply the RDS to Stewart & Stevenson, which manufactures a wide range of military and public transportation equipment. Stewart & Stevenson was awarded the contract to produce the FMTV for the Army from the Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM). Initially, the RDS will be limited to new vehicle production and will later expand to retrofit the existing fleet of FMTVs.Permo-Drive began work with the military after signing a cooperative research and development agreement with the U.S. Army's National Automotive Center (NAC) in Warren, Mich. Under this agreement, Permo-Drive developed and tested its hybrid-hydraulic RDS system in the FMTV.