An energy management method and model for small electric buses was studied. The model consists of a drive motor & inverter, a lithium ion battery, electric auxiliary devices and a mechanical powertrain. A small electric bus was developed based on the short travel distance, high charging frequency concept. Since 2012, two buses have operated as community buses in two different regions, and another bus started operations in a third region in 2013. The development of an energy management model accounting for operating conditions made it possible to keep the lithium ion battery capacity to a minimum. This paper describes energy management for this small electric bus, the design of the vehicle and the results of evaluating actual operation.