The studies for hybrid electrical vehicle (HEV) have attracted considerable attention because of the necessity of developing alternative methods to generate energy for vehicles due to limited fuel based energy, global warming and exhaust emission limits in the last century. HEV incorporates internal composition engine, electric machines and power electronic equipments. In this study, overview of HEVs with a focus on hybrid configurations, energy management strategies and electronic control units are presented. Advantages and disadvantages of each configuration are clearly emphasized. The existing powertrain control techniques for HEVs are classified and comprehensively described. Electronic control units used in HEV configuration are also elaborated. The latest trends and technological challenges in the near future for HEVs are discussed. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.