The Thunderstruck Vehicle Control Unit (VCU) converts throttle, direction and brake inputs into CAN bus messages that drive an EV motor inverter/controller. It has been designed to work with the Gen1 (2011-12), Gen2 (2013-17) and Gen3 (2018+) Nissan Leaf, UQM-Danfoss PowerPhase® HD System, and Coda UQM inverters.
When using Nissan Leaf drive systems, the VCU does not control the Nissan power distribution unit or battery management system. If you need a DCDC, BMS or Charger please look over our Chargers, DCDC and Battery Management sections,
For UQM systems, inverter configuration is required. See the Installation and Operation Manual P/N 87510-011, and CANbus Interface Manual P/N 87510-009 from UQM-Danfoss Technologies. No inverter configuration is needed for Leaf inverters.
The serial cable is required for configuration and troubleshooting, and can be shared with other components purchased from ThunderStruck. Other cables may be used if matching the following FTDI specification: TTL-232R-5V-AJ
The Optional Accessory kit provides components and connections between VCU and throttle, precharge circuit, main contactor, and direction switch (see the Included Components tab). Component wires have connectors attached, and are labeled for easy assembly.
The Accessory Kit saves considerable time for you at very little more than the price of components. It saves us time on the phone later answering questions about how to wire it up. Please contact us for more information.
Here's a very interesting video by Ben Nelson about bench testing a Nissan Leaf/VCU system using a high voltage DC power supply:
VCU Bench Testing
Check out this awesome video by Frank Graffagnino showing his bench test setup for a Nissan Leaf motor. Frank is using our VCU with the accessory kit option, which simplifies assembly.
- Vehicle Control Unit (VCU)
- Connectors (6 and 8-pin Harting)
- Wire release tool for connectors
- Low voltage wiring (4' lengths, various colors)
- Forward Neutral Reverse (FNR) DPDT Switch with 10K divider resistor
- 120 Ohm canbus termination resistor
Also Included with Optional Accessory Kit (can be ordered separately)
- Hall Throttle Pedal
- Main Contactor
- Precharge Resistor
- Precharge Relay
- Completed connections between VCU, throttle, precharge circuit, contactor, FNR Switch
- Connections labeled for easy assembly
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