"Green" technology is to be a central part of a new set of Formula One rules to be introduced in 2009.
F1 cars will have to promote fuel efficiency from 2009
The sport's governing body the FIA announced on Monday that the technical regulations would be re-written to "promote fuel efficiency".
This would include systems such as energy recovery and re-use, which are beginning to be used in road cars.
And the FIA's cost-cutting freeze on engine development is to be enforced from this year's Chinese Grand Prix.
That is a year and two races earlier than had originally been planned and represents a releaxation of the FIA's previous position that engines used in 2008 would revert to their specification on 1 June this year.
The FIA said the plans had been confirmed following a meeting on Monday between FIA president Max Mosley and the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association, which represents the road-car manufacturers in F1.
The two bodies had been at loggerheads over the future direction of the sport, with Mosley promoting cost-cutting and the GPMA championing technology.
Mosley has been pushing the use of energy storage systems
Mosley's engine freeze proposal had been the subject of a particularly bitter row, but after months of back-biting a compromise looks to have been finally agreed.
An FIA statement said that it and the GPMA were "now in full agreement about the future of the FIA Formula One World Championship".
A GPMA spokesman told the Reuters news agency that the manufacturers were still discussing the points emerging from Monday's meeting, but added that talks were "moving in the right direction".
If the GPMA gives its full agreement, it would signal a compromise that heralded a new direction for the sport.
F1's current rules have led engine builders to chase ever-higher power outputs through higher revs, with no focus on fuel efficiency.
The new rules that will be introduced from 2009 will change that.
The FIA statement said: "The GPMA has set up a working group to examine possible future rules of F1 which will allow a performance advantage to be obtained by means of more efficient use of available energy."
The agreement follows an insistence by Mosley two months ago that "saving fuel, saving energy is absolutely fundamental" to the future of F1.
He said that "research should be devoted to areas that are relevant to road cars and of benefit to society".
The FIA's aim is to use F1 as a tool to both promote and prove new technology that will be used in future road cars.
At the same time, the technology can be used to improve the spectacle of the sport - energy storage systems make it easy to introduce a "push-to-pass" button, which a driver can press for a brief burst of extra power to help overtaking.