Understanding the behavior of lithium-ion battery (LIB) under extreme conditions, e.g. low temperature, is key to a broad adoption of LIBs in various application scenarios. LIB’s poor performance at low temperatures is often attributed to the inferior lithium-ion transport in the electrolyte, which has motivated new electrolyte development as well as the battery preheating approach that is popular in electric vehicles. A significant irrevocable capacity loss, however, is not resolved by these measures nor well understood. Herein, we systematically elucidate multiphase, multiscale chemomechanical behaviors in composite LiNixMnyCozO2 (NMC, x+y+z=1) cathodes at extreme low temperatures. The low-temperature storage of LIBs can result in irreversible structural damages in active electrodes, which can negatively impact the subsequent battery cycling performance at ambient temperature. Besides developing electrolytes that have stable performance, designing batteries for use in a wide temperature range also calls for developing electrode components that are structurally and morphologically robust when the cell is switched between different temperatures.