An energy control strategy (10) for a hybrid electric vehicle that controls an electric motor during bleed and charge modes of operation. The control strategy (10) establishes (12) a value of the power level at which the battery is to be charged. The power level is used to calculate (14) the torque to be commanded to the electric motor. The strategy (10) of the present invention identifies a transition region (22) for the electric motor's operation that is bounded by upper and lower speed limits. According to the present invention, the desired torque is calculated by applying equations to the regions before, during and after the transition region (22), the equations being a function of the power level and the predetermined limits and boundaries.