Detecting Electric Vehicle (EV) devices



Still failing to detect my Chevy Volt charging with a 30 amp Clipper Creek EVSE. I have had this combination for over a year now. I really don’t believe the Sense will ever be able to do this reliably, if at all. Can you think of any other item you have bought that has failed to function for over a year after purchase?



Plenty of things that didn’t work reliably for all detections. Facial recognition software, OCR software, speech recognition software, some of which I paid much more for. Are you picking up on a common thread here ?

All of those things got better with 3-5 years of maturity, plus a few software upgrade payments…


lol. This isn’t something subtle like OCR trying to tell the difference between an 0 and an O. Look at the pictures. That’s a 3,900 KW elephant sitting in the middle of the room, and the Sense is clueless about it. Plus, they say they have added a detector specifically for the Chevy Volt… but it’s not working.

And my iPhone facial recognition software has worked since day one.


You didn’t try using Apple facial recognition in 2011, in iPhoto and Aperture, then… That was one of the worst pieces of recognition software ever. Much better in 2016.

And I have you beat on the “elephant in the room” challenge… Here’s some usage that is nearly 10x your charging, that isn’t being detected - Model S overlaid with Model 3 charging. But I have confidence Sense will find. They found the Model S for a about 9 months until they detected corrosion on my CT cable connection. Had to restart detection after the replacement. So patience is a virtue.


Actually, once you zoom in on that waveform, it’s really not that different than differentiating a 0 from a O. We could tell Sense that every large jump in wattage from <30W to >1500W with a duration longer than .5 hours is an EV, but unfortunately it could also be lots of other things (and lots of concurrent things). Thus, we have to look at much smaller timescales. As you go down to finer timescales, the obviousness starts to fade.

And yes, we announced a detector for Chevy Volt/Bolt, but that also came coupled with the ever-true promise that some devices in your home simply might not get detected.


I have to agree with Thomas: it really is an elephant. There are very few other devices in a home that can use this much electricity. The startup may look similar to other devices when you zoom in, but this is where it seems Sense could benefit from looking at LESS granular data, applying some sort of initial low-pass filter to ID elephants like EVs. My company works with hourly smart meter data, and as many others have noted on this forum it’s pretty easy to visually spot EV charging activity.


I totally agree and I have suggested before as well that Sense should look at less granular data to be able to much more easily identify devices. I do believe that looking at data w/ sampling rate of 1,000,000 samples/second at all times makes things very hard. Start out with a sampling rate of 100 samples/second to identify the big things, then dig deeper as needed with higher sample rates. Yeah the 1,000,000 samples/second will be useful to detect certain things, or things going on at the same time, etc. but it overcomplicates things for the “obvious” elephants.


If Sense is using LSTM neural networks for identification/classification, they don’t have the option of algorithmically starting bigger, then moving smaller. Each network has to be sized and sampled to match the relevant features for classification. And EV chargers seem to enough variation in both time-dependent and power-level features that Sense has to a lot of tuning for each new model/charger combination.

Not an easy problem, but one I believe they will crack with enough time and sufficient charging cycles worth of data (millions of charge cycles)


I know it may not seem like it, but I don’t just come here to dump on the Sense. I really do want to get this to work. Monitoring the electricity use of my Volt was the primary reason for purchasing it in the first place.

Now that there is an actual Volt detection routine, would there be any benefit to performing a reset on my Sense to clear out the old data on it and allow it to start detection fresh? I really don’t care about it tracking my toaster oven and Heat 2 through 7, so if it might help it detect the Volt, I would be happy to do so.


By the way, the ramp time for the Volt is 15 seconds.


@ThomasBrock Have you worked with Support on this at all? I’d reach out to them and see if there is anything obvious blocking detection for you.

But yes, EVs are an elephant in a room – absolutely. They’re major consumers and they often stick out visually. However, they’re not the only device like that. There are other 220V devices that can fit the wattage profile, like pumps, central ACs, and big heat sources. Thus, it’s not as simple as merely filtering out anything below a wattage threshold. We wish it were that easy. We would love if the solution was so simple. Alas, it’s not, but we’re working very hard to get better (and more!) EV models online.

I highly recommend tuning into the webcast tomorrow as this subject will likely be touched upon by our VP of Tech. Year End Webcast - 12/21/2018 3-4pm ET


This may be a silly question, but does the detection (or lack there of) depend on the charging station, or the car?

I have a leaf, but use a charepoint charger.

Device Detection Major Update: Chevy Electric Vehicles - 10/11/18

Detection here is reliant on 240V charging. I’ll update the main thread with that information.

@mattlebaugh The core differences between EVs are in the cars and not the EVSEs, so charging station should not make a difference to detection (as long as it’s 240V).


Good to know, thanks for the info @RyanAtSense.


I have a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid with a ChargePoint charger and it detected one of the two within a month of me getting the sense. This was somewhere back in May or June. So, I’m guessing it was the ChargePoint charger based on what was stated above.


I have a Honda Clarity PHEV (charged using a ChargePoint charger) that was detected this morning, and Sense also correctly identified its first charge cycle today (start and end).


FWIW, Sense detects about 1/3 of my Prius Prime, i.e., ~1/3 of the power draw is attributed to it as a Device and the remainder is attributed to Other.


I was excited to see that Sense detected an Electric Vehicle Friday morning. The timing of these detections are always interesting. As it’s not a detection when the actual device is running but hours later. I was at work with my Cadillac ELR (similar drive train to the Chevrolet Volt) when I received the notification.

So I’m looking forward to getting home, it’s a Friday after all, and I want to see an EV bubble. Nonetheless, all I see is the Other bubble once again. Tried again on Saturday…nope. Let’s hope I’m surprised in the coming days.


I’d love to know why my wife’s i3 is detected (although not with its model) whereas my Tesla S (2013) isn’t…


So what percent with Sense have an EV? Seems crazy high. Looking forward to the Model 3 getting detected stamp of approval.