Lithium ion batteries can be developed for vehicle applications from high power specification to high energy specification. Thermal response of a battery cell is the main factor to be considered for battery selection in the design of an electrified vehicle because some materials in the cells have low thermal stability and they may become thermally unstable when their working temperature becomes higher than the upper limit of allowed operating range. In this paper the thermal characteristics of different sizes and forms of commercially available batteries is investigated through electro-thermal analysis. The relation between cell capacity and cell internal resistance is also studied. The authors find that certain criteria can be defined for battery selection for electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. These criteria can be served as design guidelines for battery development for vehicle applications.