Energy consumption and reduction of emissions is a major aspect in the development of any new vehicle, including those typically used in the construction industry. In 2009, CRF carried out a study into how to improve all-round efficiency of a Wheel Loader, also assessing the possibility of energy recovery from the transmission and lifter. A detailed analysis of current machines made it possible to model the Wheel Loader and its main subsystems that contribute to energy consumption: transmission, loader, engine cooling fan, steering, etc. The model developed was validated according to various experimental results (such as resistance to rolling, fan characteristics, valves, pumps, etc.). The Y cycle, one of the main methods of use of wheel loaders, was adopted as reference mission in order to measure consumption. This cycle was analysed and then described through suitable mathematical representation of vehicle and boom & bucket speed trends. According to energy consumption distribution amongst the various sub-systems, the main points of intervention were defined in order to improve vehicle all-round efficiency. Alternative architectures for the transmission and hydraulics of the lifter were also analysed, including hybridisation and Energy Recovery concepts, assessing the related benefits in terms of fuel economy and also impact on costs and complexity. The cost/benefit ratio obtained provides an excellent basis for selecting the best solution for the product. The methodological approach adopted can also be applied to other construction or agricultural vehicles.