Being one of the core power units of electric vehicles, the lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are broadly concerned. However, in the cases of abuses, LIBs may counter thermal runaway, threatening the personal and property safety of users. In order to avoid the occurrence of thermal runaway, the battery thermal management system (BTMS) has been introduced to improve the safety, optimize the efficiency and prolong the service life of lithium-ion batteries. In this review, feasible thermal management schemes of LIBs system were summarized chronically, different thermal management schemes were evaluated, and case studies were made. The schemes of controlling the internal reaction control in the battery are highlighted as well. This review offers a comprehensive view of BTMS and proposes a promising future for the employment of lithium-ion batteries.