Nowadays, batteries for electric vehicles are expected to have a high energy density, allow fast charging and maintain long cycle life, while providing affordable traction, and complying with stringent safety and environmental standards. Extensive research on novel materials at cell level is hence needed for the continuous improvement of the batteries coupled towards achieving these requirements. This article firstly delves into future developments in electric vehicles from a technology perspective, and the perspective of changing end-user demands. After these end-user needs are defined, their translation into future battery requirements is described. A detailed review of expected material developments follows, to address these dynamic and changing needs. Developments on anodes, cathodes, electrolyte and cell level will be discussed. Finally, a special section will discuss the safety aspects with these increasing end-user demands and how to overcome these issues.