Detecting Electric Vehicle (EV) devices



Hi everyone,

With your help responding to the EV survey sent around in November, I’ve been hard at work splitting electric vehicle chargers into different categories and detecting devices in each category. This week, we are releasing the first EV devices for the Tesla Model S! Most but not all of the Model S cars from the past three years fall in this initial category.

Sense may take up to about a week to find your Model S. If you have a Model S that Sense is not detecting after a week, it might fall into another category that is coming soon. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing device detectors for other categories including other types of Tesla Model S, as well as Chevy Volts, BMW i3s, Nissan Leafs, and other EVs.

Thank you for your awesome support! If you have general feedback about EVs feel free to post here, or if you have specific issues that should be tracked down for your home, please send to customer support - they will be sending me EV-specific issues that they hear about.

Sense Data Scientist

P.S. There is a pending update to the Android app that changes around the icons. If Sense finds an electric vehicle but it shows up without a car icon, you should receive an app update in a few days that fixes the icon.

Not recognizing Tesla
Nissan Leaf EV Detection - still waiting
Electric car charging shows as unknown device
Device Detection Major Update: Tesla Model 3 - 1/9/19
BMW i3 not being detected

Awesome, I’ll be on the lookout!


As a Nissan LEAF owner, I’m excited to see this development! Thanks for adding this to your “upgrades.”


Hey Matt - great news! You say “Model S cars from the past three years” - mine is a 2012. Does that mean it definitely WON’T work with this update?


Same here… I wonder what changed throughout the years.


Glad to see this news. I’ve got a BMW i3 which I charge off of the normal outlet charger, not a 3-prong charger, so if you need help analyzing/modeling that, let me know. Looking forward to it!


As a Nissan Leaf owner, I’m happy to hear this, as the bulk of my electricity usage goes to my car. I have both a 120V trickle charger as well as a 240V Level II. Will these be detected as different devices?


I have a Tesla Model S, charging from a NEMA 14/50.(40 amp) (vs. the high power wall connector at 80 amp)

The problem I have isn’t Sense related, as much as I’m wondering how Sense can Sense the Tesla, as you can set the charge amps to any number, up to 40 on the outlet, or 80 on the HPWC.

For you see, The S will auto reduce charge amps, based on voltage. I will set my S to charge at 40 amps. It loads up the breaker slowly… amp by amp up to 40/40. It’s very recognizable on the graph/chart.

My issue (and why I’m wondering about the detection of the car) is that after a while at 40 (takes me on average 2-3 hours/night to charge), it will kick down to 30 amps! It does this because at some point the Voltage drops to what the car feels may be an issue, or wiring issue, or who knows. It keeps the car and wiring safe. The real issue, after months of replacing things, testing, etc. Is my Power company… Who installed a monitor on my meter, and claims “It’s all good”…
However they gave me a 8.5 x 11 with a whole week on it! Not down to the second like I need to prove they can’t hold 240v at my house…

I’ll let everyone know if/when my S shows up, but for now it’s set to 35 amps, so it doesn’t end up knocked down to 30 amp. (car is working properly, charges at full 40 amps at other houses).


I actually logged my Sense experience on the Tesla forum as well:



Your 2012 Model S isn’t in this initial category, but we’re planning on releasing more EVs in the coming weeks. Your car will be addressed in one of these future releases.

Sense Data Scientist



Re: 240V and 120V charges showing up as different devices, I won’t know until we’ve addressed all of the Leaf categories.

Sense Data Scientist


Interesting. Since I’m using the Tesla High Power Wall Connector, there
shouldn’t be any difference between the way my car charges versus a brand
new one. But your note suggests otherwise. I literally wrote the book on
the Tesla Model S (, so I’m intrigued as to the

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Nick Howe
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I believe they would show as 2 devices due to the large power difference.
I can charge my Model S at 120, but have only ever done that once or twice.


My Tesla Model S was detected last night (first time I charged it in a couple days) as I charged using my NEMA 14-50 w/mobile connector at 40amps.

I also noticed that this morning when I warmed up my car before leaving for work that it also identified the warming draw as the Tesla as well! Very exciting. This should be about 30% of my consumption

Thanks, Sense!


What year is your Model S?


2015 Tesla Model S 70D, 40 amp charging with NEMA 14-50


Sadly, I spoke too soon on this. Sense is able to initially detect the draw as coming from an “Electric Vehicle” but it does not track the consumption. Last night, I officially got the notification that the new device was detected. When it charged overnight, Sense showed that my EV charged for a total of 21 seconds. It actually charged for slightly over 3 hours.

None of the consumption was credited to the EV device.

Looks like there is still some work to be done on this device signature.


I’ll take a look on Monday. Thank you for the prompt feedback.


Mine’s not found yet :frowning:
2013 S85 - dual chargers but plugged into a NEMA 14/50.



We’ve identified an issue that matches your problem description. Sense will sometimes fail to recognize the entire charge of the electric vehicle, and other times will correctly recognize the whole charge. I will let you know when a fix is released.

Sense Data Scientist


I have a 2015 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive. Any chance this falls into the “other EVs” you mentioned?