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This paper presents a new estimation approach for the battery residual capacity (BRC) indicator in electric vehicles (EVs). The key of this approach is to model the EV battery by using a neural network (NN) with a newly defined output and newly proposed inputs. The inputs are the discharged and regenerative capacity distribution and the temperature. The output is the state of available capacity (SOAC) which represents the BRC. Various SOACs of the nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery are experimentally investigated under different EV discharge current profiles and temperatures. The corresponding data are recorded to train and verify the proposed NN. The results indicate that the NN can provide an accurate and effective estimation of the BRC. Moreover, this NN can be easily implemented as the BRC indicator or estimator for EVs by using a low-cost microcontroller.