Hybrid-electric vehicles provide additional functionality compared to conventional vehicles. So-called ‘hybrid’ software functions are required to coordinate the conventional powertrain control and these additional control functions. A key factor to reduce the fuel consumption lies in optimal control of the entire interconnected powertrain.This paper aims to provide a framework for efficient interface definition, connection and coordination of control units for hybrid electric vehicles. Such a framework supports an efficient development of control unit architectures and the distribution of software functions.The generic approach necessitates modular software functions. It defines the distribution of these functions in control units optimized with respect to reuse, interfaces and compatibility with different powertrain topologies and electrification variants, especially also considering compatibility with a conventional powertrain and its electric hybridization.