To improve the use of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicle (EV) applications, evaluations and comparisons of different equivalent circuit models are presented in this paper. Based on an analysis of the traditional lithium-ion battery equivalent circuit models such as the Rint, RC, Thevenin and PNGV models, an improved Thevenin model, named dual polarization (DP) model, is put forward by adding an extra RC to simulate the electrochemical polarization and concentration polarization separately. The model parameters are identified with a genetic algorithm, which is used to find the optimal time constant of the model, and the experimental data from a Hybrid Pulse Power Characterization (HPPC) test on a LiMn2
battery module. Evaluations on the five models are carried out from the point of view of the dynamic performance and the state of charge (SoC) estimation. The dynamic performances of the five models are obtained by conducting the Dynamic Stress Test (DST) and the accuracy of SoC estimation with the Robust Extended Kalman Filter (REKF) approach is determined by performing a Federal Urban Driving Schedules (FUDS) experiment. By comparison, the DP model has the best dynamic performance and provides the most accurate SoC estimation. Finally, sensitivity of the different SoC initial values is investigated based on the accuracy of SoC estimation with the REKF approach based on the DP model. It is clear that the errors resulting from the SoC initial value are significantly reduced and the true SoC is convergent within an acceptable error.