The automotive industry is currently on the verge of electrical transition, and the environmental performance of electric vehicles (EVs) is of great concern. To assess the environmental performance of EVs scientifically and accurately, we reviewed the life cycle environmental impacts of EVs and compared them with those of internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). Considering that the battery is the core component of EVs, we further summarise the environmental impacts of battery production, use, secondary utilisation, recycling, and remanufacturing. The results showed that the environmental impact of EVs in the production phase is higher than that of ICEVs due to battery manufacturing. EVs in the use phase obtained a better overall image than ICEVs, although this largely depended on the share of clean energy generation. In the recycling phase, repurposing and remanufacturing retired batteries are helpful in improving the environmental benefits of EVs. Over the entire life cycle, EVs have the potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and fossil energy consumption; however, they have higher impacts than ICEVs in terms of metal and mineral consumption and human toxicity potential. In summary, optimising the power structure, upgrading battery technology, and improving the recycling efficiency are of great significance for the large-scale promotion of EVs, closed-loop production of batteries, and sustainable development of the resources, environment, and economy.