In this paper, a rear-wheel-driven series hybrid electric vehicle which has a mechanically operated friction brake system is studied. A new cooperative control of regenerative braking and friction braking called 'combined braking' is proposed for this vehicle configuration. A mechanism to adjust the proportions of regenerative braking and friction braking was proposed in this paper. Further, the braking force distribution between the front wheels and the rear wheels was analysed to ensure stable braking. The brake system characteristics were considered to ensure that the driver's feel remains the same in the new proposed combined braking strategy. The simulation results under urban driving and across the Modified Indian Driving Cycle and vehicle road testing results show that the proposed combined braking can regenerate more than twice the braking energy of conventional parallel braking. Also, with combined braking, the braking force distribution between the front wheels and the rear wheels is closer to the ideal braking force distribution curve, which is desirable to ensure stable braking. © IMechE 2015.