Battery packs conformed by large format lithium-ion cells are increasingly being adopted in hybrid and pure electric vehicles in order to use the energy more efficiently and for a better environmental performance. Safety and cycle life are two of the main concerns regarding this technology, which are closely related to the cell's operating behavior and temperature asymmetries in the system. Therefore, the temperature of the cells in battery packs needs to be controlled by thermal management systems (TMSs). In the present paper an improved design methodology for developing TMSs is proposed. This methodology involves the development of different mathematical models for heat generation, transmission, and dissipation and their coupling and integration in the battery pack product design methodology in order to improve the overall safety and performance. The methodology is validated by comparing simulation results with laboratory measurements on a single module of the battery pack designed at IK4-IKERLAN for a traction application. The maximum difference between model predictions and experimental temperature data is 2 degrees C. The models developed have shown potential for use in battery thermal management studies for EV/HEV applications since they allow for scalability with accuracy and reasonable simulation time. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.