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AEM VCU-200 anybody running it successfully

16725 Views 81 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  mlrtime99
I've been watching the AEM VCU-200 for a while now, but I haven't found anyone to successfully run it besides AEM in their black mustang and when they redid the EV West van. But I am assuming that both of those took forever to work and I am not really interested in being their guinea pig.

Is anyone running this and how hard was it to setup?
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I work for AEM so maybe I can answer any questions you have. I am not here officially but if it's info I can share I will.
Biggest question is "When", and how plug-and-play is it? I'm not looking to squeeze every last ounce of torque out of my Tesla LDU, I just want something that will let me hook-up and go relatively easily. :)
Thanks Mojave!
The VCU 200 is shipping now (this thread is titled VCU200) but I think you are really talking about the Tesla base LDU board right?
Do you know if "Rywire" is up and running with the VCU-200? Do you know of any customers that have paid, received, and are using the VCU-200 successfully in a complete EV?
Don't know about Rywire. I have not had anything to do with them or any project they are working on.

The vast majority of AEM EV customers are dealers developing either complete or partial kits and it's not our place to say what they are doing. Some are already out there and of those the biggest is Cascadia (Reinhart Motion/AM Racing) but they are most definitely not the DIY crowd and their customers projects seem to fly way under the radar until they release them as fully formed products. That's why we do videos on some of our vehicles because if we didn't then there would be no publicity at all. Vehicles like the Ford Cobra Jet 1400 were built and running in 2019 but didn't get announced till mid-2020 and only in the last 6 months has it been out and about for people to see in person. The lead time on these projects is huge.

With all that said, the DIY application for the VCU200 or VCU300 as a stand alone device is fairly limited. It is a comprehensive vehicle controller that manages everything in the vehicle, because of this, it is not a casually installed add-on component. It needs to be designed in to the system from the very start because it will control everything and if you don't have it controlling everything then you are better off not using it. It wants to have full control over your contactors, Inverter, OBC, DCDC, BMS, J1772, Pumps, Fans, AC Compressor... everything because it's all functionally interconnected. Casually installing the VCU isn't possible, it's all or nothing. But because it is spec'd out at the very start of a vehicle concept and it is a relatively new product, I suspect you wont see the drive kits of finished vehicles the currently shipping VCU200 modules are going into for a while yet. I cant change that.
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Correct, specifically the LDU. I think I have plans for everything else that's just the last component... (I think)
I am not working on that specific project so I don't have dates or anything like that but I can say that it seems to either be complete and may just be in the buttoning up phase. Last I saw they were validating very high speed regen so there cant be much left if anything.

As to plug & play, well, you definitely need to read my response above regarding the system design function of the VCU200 & 300. I think the Tesla board version will be a little simpler since the motor is defined but you still have the rest of the vehicle to consider and how it will relate to the VCU. Also, I would definitely say it is not plug and play since to me that means you literally plug in the supplied harnesses and while there is one for the Tesla drive, the VCU does not have a generic harness, you need to build on so no plug & play for the VCU. Also, note that the control algorithm for the LDU controller is 100% CAN based, there is no stand alone mode for the LDU. Also the throttle pedal wiring does not go to the LDU either, everything needs to come in over CAN. That puts all the torque control functions into the VCU's hands, the LDU will no longer do anything but the most basic safety de-rate functions, shifting that over watch responsibility to the VCU and adjustable by the user.

I did however get to drive our mule Mustang with the VCU-200 & base LDU about a month ago and it was an absolute riot. I took it home for the weekend and scared my friends with 0-90 runs and overall put about 150 miles on it.
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I think I can do everything but A/C, cause I'm using a PWM (not CAN) compressor, unless the VCU200 will drive that. Otherwise I am totally fine running everything with the VCU (in fact I was hoping to).
You can definitely control the A/C with PWM and keep the VCU completely out of it. For the VCU to do it then it needs to be one of the CAN based compressor units. Without that the VCU cant use the A/C along with a chiller to cool the batteries.
I think I am misunderstanding something here. I'm intending to use a traditional coolant system and Tesla coolant heater for temperature control of the batteries. I expect I'll be able to manage both of those through the VCU, correct?
Yes. The ability to add the A/C chiller to either the battery or inverter cooling loops just gives you more options when ambient temps are very high and you are loading the systems. Not terribly necessary for the battery loop but supercooling the motor/inverter loop before a run allows you to run harder longer.
Actually, Mojave, I'm assuming I can send a CAN signal to an arduino via the VCU, and just have the arduino interpret the CAN message into a PWM signal that drives the A/C compressor... I already have the PWM signal setup to output correctly from an arduino to drive the compressor. I'd just be changing my code logic on the arduino to interpret a CAN message instead of a temperature value from an external sensor. That would in theory let me retain climate control via the vcu, correct? I'm assuming that all interfaces and supports programmable behavior via the carbon display?
Yes, doing that essentially makes the system CAN controlled and the VCU would be fine with it.
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Any updates on the sport LDU drive unit board?
I don't think they have announced anything on that but I think its fair to say its in the works. I have no timeline or ETA.
They're working on CCS fast charge support, it sounds like it'll be essentially drop-in to their BMS system without needing to buy a special extra module from them or anything
Just want to correct something here, the AEM CCS solution WILL consist of an add-on CCS module. The CCS program is ongoing at AEM and no announcement or product is imminent, I just saw this and didn't want to let it hang out there when I knew it was incorrect.

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