A MoO2@C nanocomposite was prepared using oleic acid to reduce the MoO3 precursor and to simultaneously coat the resultant one-dimensional MoO2 nanorods with carbon layers. The MoO2@C composite has a mesoporous structure with a surface area of 45.7 m2 g-1, and a typical pore size of 3.8 nm. When applied as an anode for lithium ion batteries, the MoO2@C electrode exhibits not only high reversible capacity, but also remarkable rate capability and excellent cycling stability. A high capacity of 1034 mA h g-1 was delivered at 0.1 A g-1. And at a super-high specific current of 22 A g-1, a capacity of 155 mA h g-1 was still obtained. When cycled at 0.5 and 10 A g-1, the Li/MoO2@C half cells retained 861 and 312 mA h g-1 capacity after 140 and 268 cycles, respectively. The mesoporous nature of the MoO2@C nanocomposite and the thin-layer carbon coating are believed to contribute to the enhanced electrochemical performance, which not only feature the efficient four-electron conversion reaction for Li+ storage, but also effectively tolerate volume expansion during the cycling.