Regenerative braking control for a four-wheel-drive (4WD) electric vehicle (EV) equipped with a decoupled electro-hydraulic brake system was studied. The energy flow of the 4WD electric vehicle was analyzed during braking, and the brake force distribution strategy between the front-rear axles, regenerative braking and hydraulic braking was studied. Considering ECE R13 regulations, motors and battery pack characteristic constraints, the optimal regenerative braking control strategy using Genetic Algorithm (GA) was proposed. A Hardware-in-loop (HIL) test was built to verify the proposed regenerative braking control strategy. The results show that the optimal regenerative braking control strategy for the 4WD electric vehicle was advantageous over the comparison program, and regenerative energy efficiency reaches 78.87% under the Shanghai Urban Driving Cycle (SUDC).