The Obsessive Van is the first fully electric vehicle that I’ve worked on. As you’d expect I’ve tried to take it to a new level so it’s been a good learning exercise and I’ve come up with some new tricks as a result.
Good level of factory security
The Panel van version which I own also has a solid cargo barrier which prevents you from gaining access to the back of the van, even if the drivers’ door lock is picked or a front window is smashed.
However, it does not have an alarm so the Cobra AK4615 CAN-BUS upgrade alarm was the obvious starting point.
Here are some photos of the install to start off with:
The Niggly Little Details
The e-NV200 is very similar to the petrol NV200 van which it’s based on (The rest of the technology is borrowed from the Nissan Leaf). All of the body electrics still work on a 12-volt system so it’s not radically different from the old gas guzzler. That said it still has some unique features that made the installation interesting.
First off was the factory remote which has a fan button. This turns on the cabin heater and demists the windows if held down for two seconds. Obviously having air movement in the cabin is not good if you have ultrasonic sensors, fortunately, the Cobra AK4615 can be programmed to turn them down to 50% when the fan turns on. This means the alarm can remain armed whilst the van is defrosting.
The e-NV200 even has heated seats and steering wheel which is super luxurious for a van. Silent demisting makes remote engine start in an old combustion engine look seriously primitive!
Overcoming the limitations of the factory remote locking
The biggest issue I had with the van was how the charge port opened (yes I know I’m pedantic!). It comes with a mechanical bonnet type pull-lever inside the cabin which I felt was a tad crude. After finding out that the Gen 2 Nissan Leaf could open with the remote I decided that the van need this too.
The challenge was how to make it work using the factory remote. I’ve not come across any systems that can do this before. After spending to much time searching I gave up and decided to design my own circuit.
I’ve called it the Double Tap Module as it will activate the second output if the lock button is pressed twice within 3 seconds. On the van, it also activates a timer to turn a LED strip on for 3 minutes so I can see the charging port which helps when plugging it in at night time 🙂
Having already developed the remote double tap module I decided it would be cool if I could turn the headlamps on by pressing the unlock button twice. The video below shows how useful this is at night and also shows the cabin heater turning on (note the blue LED which indicates that the demister/cabin heater is active). When the van is still plugged in it can pre-heat without any effect on the range.
Window Closure and Venting
Next came automatic window closure. I added a Viper 535T module which automatically closes the windows when the alarm arms. It also gives the windows a single press full open or close which the passenger window did not have as standard.
The 535T vent feature is super useful too. Venting simply opens both windows by a pre-programmed level. I’ve wired mine up to work from a double tap of the unlock button on the dash. This will only work when the accessory circuit is on so it does not compromise the security.
- Cobra AK4615 CAN_BUS Alarm
- 4310 Additional Siren and Horn Honk!
- Cobra Level Sensor
- Drivers Card
- PIR Sensor
- Remote Double Tap Module – charge port (lock) Headlamp 30 Seconds (Unlock) Window venting (Dash button unlock with ignition on)
- 3 Minute Charge port LED night light timer
- GPS Alert Tracker
- Viper 535T Window Closure Module
*Note: UK Panel Van e-NV200 has dead-locking as standard but the Jap imports I’ve seen seem to lack this feature.
Want to know more about what it’s like running a small business from an Electric Van?
Feel welcome to contact me if you have any questions or want to take a look at it.