The purpose of construction of ion potential diagrams is to facilitate the description of systems in which ionic species are mobile. These diagrams depict qualitatively the spatial dependence of the potential energy for mobile ions in a way similar to band diagrams for electrons. We specify and explain what types of experimental data are needed to construct these diagrams. We construct such diagrams for five layer electrochromic devices in which both optically active electrodes are oxides, capable of reversible lithium ion intercalation. We consider the systems at open circuit and under bias. We compare the behaviour of several electrochromic oxides with respect to intercalation and deintercalation reactions. On the basis of the diagrams we discuss electrode stability and switching time in electrochromic devices. Possible novel electrode materials, in terms of their electrical behaviour, are discussed.