Real-time energy management strategy (EMS) plays an important role in reducing fuel consumption and maintaining power for the hybrid electric vehicle. However, real-time optimization control is difficult to implement due to the computational load in an instantaneous moment. In this paper, an Approximate equivalent consumption minimization strategy (Approximate-ECMS) is presented for real-time optimization control based on single-shaft parallel hybrid powertrain. The quadratic fitting of the engine fuel consumption rate and the single-axle structure characteristics of the vehicle make the fitness function transformed into a cubic function based on ECMS for solving. The candidate solutions are thus obtained to distribute torque and the optimal distribution is got from the candidate solutions. The results show that the equivalent fuel consumption of Approximate-ECMS was 7.135 L/km by 17.55% improvement compared with Rule-ECMS in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). To compensate for the effect of the equivalence factor on fuel consumption, a hybrid dynamic particle swarm optimization-genetic algorithm (DPSO-GA) is used for the optimization of the equivalence factor by 9.9% improvement. The major contribution lies in that the Approximate-ECMS can reduce the computational load for real-time control and prove its effectiveness by comparing different strategies.