Detecting Electric Vehicle (EV) devices


Sorry I missed this, Michael. We’re actually planning some functionality like that in the near future (a bit deeper, but similar for sure).

@freejoule17 Welcome to the Community! I believe we have also spoke via Facebook or Support (I’m the Facebook guy as well :sunglasses:). Our main rule of thumb with what you’re asking is to just behave normally. Don’t try and switch your lifestyle up to help force a detection because Sense really needs to see devices in their normal usage patterns. Also, 2 days is a very, very short timeframe for Sense to make any detections at all. We offer a 60-day return period because it can take that long to really start getting a large mass of detections. Definitely hold onto some hope that you’ll get EV detections, especially for the BMW which we have had luck with.

NOTE: I’m going to merge this thread with our much larger EV thread


Hi Ryan, didn’t realize you were the one on FB too! Thanks for the tip to “behave normally”. I’ll attempt that! No worries in the detection time, I’m in this for the long haul. I wasn’t expecting any miracles in two days, I’m happy I got 4 devices recognized so far. A big one for me is the water heater which it picked up today. For EVs let me know if I can help in any way. I have 2 EVs with two level 1, and one level 2 chargers at home I can play with.


If you got four devices in two days, you are doing GREAT. Hope it continues for you.


I just wanted to give an update on this after having a conversation with the Data Science team.

As I’ve noted above, EV detection is incredibly challenging due to their slow ramp up and step down times. In short, our real-time modeling has been reliant on short transients to gain confidence over when devices turn on or off (as this is pretty much the norm with the majority of household appliances). Thus, EV detection requires entirely novel architecture to undergird it. So far, we’ve done some of this work ad hoc to get some EV detections happening but have come to the conclusion that we need to step back and do some deeper re-coding to address these detection issues.

The good news: Once this work concludes, we should be able to make steady headway on new EV detections.

The lukewarm news: There’s a lot of users looking for Leafs and Priuses and Model 3s. Those aren’t ready yet and could still be some time off while we complete this back-end work. But those detections should be pretty solid and less finicky than some of our earlier EV detections once they do come. I can’t promise any sort of timeline here unfortunately.

And for you happy Sensers with excellent EV detection at present, don’t worry. Nothing will change for you.

I hope that clarifies our status at the moment more than a rote, however accurate, “we’re working on it.” :+1:

The Missed Crowd Sourcing Opportunity
Sense forgot my EV (Tesla)

Great clarification. Not entirely good news, but sets expectations for EVs accordingly, plus lays to rest the oft-raised question, “If I can see the car charging signature clear as day, why can’t Sense ?”


I know I’m a minority here but I own a Cadillac ELR. It’s very similar to the Chevy Volt. If it recognized it as such and I could rename it, that would be great!

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Starting a new thread here because the other ones are just so old and no new info. Any progress on EV detection? I see lots of new features being rolled out but what was supposed to be a couple of months wait for an EV detector has now past the span of well over a year. Being that it’s the #1 consumption in my house when in use, it sure would be good to be able to detect it :wink:


Have you contacted support?

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Somewhere in the 20-25 times range. There have been multiple dates given and none of them met. Furthermore, the existing threads conflate EV detection (actually EVSE) with Nissan Leave EVSE detection. Which get a lot of mixed postings from Tesla owners. I wanted to focus this thread solely on Nissan Leaf EVSE detection and see if Ben or others can provide and update to the community.


Good post Andrew. Just to help get a count please answer one of the following.

  • Yes: EVs found
  • Partial: At least one EV found
  • No: None detected

0 voters

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Feel free to post a poll-post. It probably should be separate post as a stand-alone post. I’ll respond if you create it.


EV detection is uniquely different for Sense than other devices. It is very hard to detect and primarily only the Tesla Model S, Model X, and BMW i3 have been detected. I am a huge supporter of Sense and this is not a pile on. This is a little bit of a generic statement, but I find two large camps of Sense users. One that is very into connected devices, and another that is about everything electric which includes EVs. EVs and HVAC will be routinely the primary usage in a home. Again, if it becomes a pile one, I will defend the support team, but at the same time, a dose of how many EVs are yet to be detected could help put a greater effort toward the problem. I don’t know that this statement is true but with EV adoption at 2%, what would it say if 20% of Sense users have EVs and of those 1-in-10 have their EV detected? The only other device I would consider worthy of this is HVAC. Again, a large percentage of one’s usage and difficult for Sense to detect particularly with 2 stage units. Hope that helps.

peace out



I posted an update about this in the main EV thread.

In short, we’re still a ways off. EV detection ended up becoming a lot more challenging than we initially anticipated, thus the huge delay. No one should have been communicating any exact dates, so I’m not entirely sure how those came across. We’ve never even had exact dates here, other than when EVs were first announced.

The good news is that based on survey data we’ve collected, the Volt and Leaf are the most common EVs owned by our userbase, so once this foundational work concludes, our EV efforts will be focused there. Still, I can’t promise any timeframes.

I’m going to move this thread into the primary EV thread.

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Has the DS team (and the device folks) considered making an exception to accelerate the detection of EVs from the sense model of detection for all others? I know that sense want to uphold it’s model of detection (ML) but maybe using a different model of detection for EVs as a stop gap is a worthwhile option.


I suspect that’s what Sense already did to make the one or two EV charging detections that work a reality. Not a scalable or supportable process. Would rather have them do it right than do a bunch of one-offs (4 EVs, only one of the four detected today).

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That’s sort of how we did it ad hoc for the three we’re working best with now, but it has its limits as an approach. EV signatures vary pretty significantly at the micro timescales we’re looking at. There’s definitely not a ‘one size fits all’ detection solution (not that there is for most other devices either), which is why it’s been so problematic. Trust me, we want to detect the gamut of EVs as much as all of you do!

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I think most of us are aware of the daunting task and know that EVs are difficult for Sense. At the same time the emphasis needs to be placed on them. HVAC, pool pumps, and EVs have to be top of customer’s usage. I really would like to know how many Sense users have EVs. The US EV adoption is still inside 2%, but I’m betting that 20% of Sense users have them. I have no problem with moving Andrew’s post, but I really would have liked to see the poll. Tesla Model 3 is getting ready to explode onto the market so I’m sure Sense will cover that one. Chevy Volts and Nisan LEAFS are also large percentages. I really hope the team is placing the effort to resolve these units. I am totally buying into the algorithms for everything except maybe EVs. We have to have this and it doesn’t matter how we get it. 2% of the market today, but it will be 1-in-10 before the solution is resolved. I stand strong with team on the mission but there has to be an EV solution. Period.

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I’ve been charging two EVs nightly since I installed Sense 18 months ago and neither are reliably detected. I admit both are uncommon – a Th!nk City and a Vectrix – but Sense marketing implies it can ID all loads/devices. The Sense motto “Know what’s on” ended up being “Know a few common devices that are on” for me. :frowning:
Until Sense can consistently and reliably help with all such large loads, a “BETA” or “YMMV” indication on the product would be appropriate.

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Hi there - I’ve been charging up my Tesla Model 3 since late May - with no Sense detection yet. Anything / data i can submit to help out? From what I can see Model 3 charging is just a big flat 7.5 kW “square wave” from turn on to turn off. Thanks for your consideration.


My Chevy Bolt EV was detected once, but not completely. It said it used maybe 2.5 kW, but I charge at about 5.5 kW. In any case, it disappeared from the list of devices after a couple weeks, and hasn’t returned.

I’m hoping for an integration with the eMotorWerks JuiceBox; since it’s wifi connected and has an ammeter, it should provide pretty good data to work from. A bonus would be that I don’t have to wait for my EV to become the most popular model before getting detection support for it…