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This paper represents a comprehensive comparison of three battery chemistries for use in plug-in battery electric vehicles: lithium iron phosphate oxide, lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide and nickel cobalt aluminum oxide anodes. The battery characteristics at different temperature conditions have been investigated, using test procedures as defined in the standard IEC 62660-1/2 and introducing new load profiles. Main focus key parameters are the energy density, power capabilities, rate performances during charge and discharge as well as the energy efficiency, thermal behaviour and life cycle. The results indicate that the lithium iron phosphate based cells have good performances at low temperatures (such as down to -18° C). However, the situation regarding the nickel cobalt aluminum oxide and nickel manganese cobalt oxide anodes demonstrates less favorable performances, especially at low temperatures where the power and energy capabilities are considerably poor. In addition, the cycle life properties are discussed in order to evaluate the long-term performances, and battery parameters such as cost and thermal behaviors are compared. Finally, this study contains a new definition for the well-known Peukert relationship during the discharge phase. Furthermore, an adapted equation during the charge phase is presented based on the charge characteristics of the proposed batteries at different environmental conditions.