The encouragement for the development of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) has increased in China, especially after the automotive industry planning in 2009. In general, BEVs are associated with a cleaner and more efficient mobility during operation; however the benefits of substituting BEVs for internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) must be evaluated. Vehicle cycle analyses are important tools that provide a comprehensive approach to compare the environmental effects of advanced and conventional vehicles.The goal of this study is to estimate and compare the vehicle cycle energy and emission impacts of a mid-size passenger BEV with a mid-size passenger ICEV in China. It is found that the material production accounts for the majority of the vehicle cycle energy consumption and emissions for the two vehicle types. Comparing the vehicle cycle of the BEV and ICEV, the energy consumption of BEV is 40.0% higher than that of ICEV and the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of BEV is 44.6% higher than that of ICEV, due to the use of energy-intensive materials in the power battery of BEV.Meanwhile, the fuel cycle analyses are used in conjunction with the vehicle cycle analyses to estimate the full automobile lifecycle results. It is found that in the terms of the full life cycle of the ICEV and BEV, the overall energy use of the BEV is 26.6% lower than that of ICEV and the overall GHG emissions of BEV is 12.8% lower than that of ICEV.