Detecting Electric Vehicle (EV) devices



@sparc, unfortunately, it isn’t likely that your Volt will be detected at this time. Building a better detector around the Volt is definitely on our list but I don’t have a specific timeline for it at the moment.

With regards to the other detection issues you’ve mentioned, if you’re concerned there’s an issue, our support team at would be happy to take a look. Our data science team is always working to improve detection and accuracy, and we’ve been actively expanding our team in pursuit of further improvements.


Are there any plans to detect the VW e-Golf? Being able to tell how much electricity I am using to charge my car is one of the primary reasons I bought Sense.


@nesan, we do plan to improve detection of all EVs including the VW e-Golf. Unfortunately, I don’t have a specific timeline for it at this time. Thank you for voicing your interest in better detection around the e-Golf though. Customer needs and requests are a big part of what we work on.


@BenAtSense While I am still waiting for the Chevy Volt, I want the people at Sense to think about priority (assuming there are no technical issues) with supporting various devices.

I don’t know what percentage of Sense users (Current and potential) have an electric or hybrid car, but my belief is that it might be higher than the average public and may constitute a larger percentage of the Sense user base. Even if it doesn’t, one should also consider the size of the usage (Big devices should be low hanging fruit), the frequency of usage as well as the number of device of that type across all users to allocate the software resources for a device’s profile.

Incidentally, my Volt charger is maybe showing up (at least half of it - It’s a modified to 240v EVSE that comes with it) as “Heat 4”, probably because of the 1300 watt draw I’m guessing.


@BenAtSense, I have not seen any requests for a Fiat 500 using a GE 40 amp Ev-charger. It starts after 9pm Pst. Thank you.


I have a Nissan Leaf (6.6Kw charger).

Sense hasn’t seen it yet but I’ve only charged a few times. Is the current status that Sense is capable of detecting the charger but not identifying it, or really that it can’t even detect the charger at all?



@wpegden, Sense will definitely be able to show you the energy it is using but in terms of identifying it as a separate device, it is unlikely right now.

@miracj, we do try to prioritize detection based on a variety of factors including how many users would be impacted with detection improvements for that device and the level of impact of that improvement.

Will be sure to pass your and everyone else’s requests for broader EV detection on!


Thanks for passing things on! It seems like this thread is the most viewed and replied-to thread in the whole Sense forum, so the interest is definitely there.


How many users??? Let’s see. How many people have electric stoves or ovens? How many have electric dryers? How many have air conditioners? I’d bet that any one of those (which Sense seems unable to detect) has orders of magnitude more users than all of the Hybrid cars sold so far in the world, and FAR more power consumed. No one mentioned that Sense was only going to focus on the electric car market!

So, if you are focused on the volume of customers and the amount of power consumed, I recommend you do your research.



My guess is that AMONG SENSE USERS, more undetected total kw hours are expended on EV chargers than hair dryers (certainly, no contest), or stoves or ovens (probably). The Sense data people could tell us for sure. The popularity of this thread certainly indicates that EV’s are more popular among sense users than the general population.

A/C you are right, I’m sure, is a bigger consumer overall even among sense users, and therefore A/C would be my priority for first detection.

However, there is also an argument that EV chargers should be particularly easy to detect, because they have a dramatic and consistent signature, and there are fewer than 10 variants. I don’t know for sure whether it’s possible even in principle to reliably detect A/C units across the board. I am very confident it should be possible to reliably detect EV chargers.


I’m happy !
6 1/2 weeks after a full data reset (of my own choosing), Sense has “refound” our Model S charging cycle !
Looks about right, delivering 17.6KW (220V*80A). Now please find Model X charging…


I had to replace my monitor a month ago and it just picked up my Model S. It took 3 months last time. I am not sure if it was my defective monitor last time or Sense is getting smarter via crowdsourcing.


I have a new Model S, 75D (built May 2017). It has been charged every night with a standard Tesla Wall Connector (48A charge; 60A circuit breaker) for the last three months without being detected. I installed my Sense in July before getting the Tesla.


I’m curious if anyone has an answer to this. I sent an email to the feedback section of the app and this is what was returned:

Jin (Sense)
Oct 12, 14:03 EDT

Hi there,

Thanks for reaching out!

Unfortunately, Sense will have a difficult time identifying the Spark EV and Bosch PowerMax Car Charger. However, our data science team is constantly improving the models, so it will detect them soon. Check out our progress on EVs here: First EV devices!.

Sense Customer Support

What would make a Chevy Spark EV / Bosch PowerMac Car Charger so difficult to detect?


My bet is on the soft start properties of the cars charger. Many of the soft start electric appliances in my home have never been detected.


Ok. I’ll bite. What is “soft start?”


That’s the turn-on profile of a AC power device that waits for a zero
voltage/current condition before allowing current to flow into the device.
Sometimes it is extended over many cycles in order to avoid a large inrush
of power that might cause circuit protection devices to trip. On EVs this
is seen when the charger ramps up to it full charging capability. Same for
certain electric stove top units.



Sadly, no Tesla here (but a fella can dream): That said, we do have a Ford Fusion Energi (“pluggable hybrid”) - and eager to see if Sense ends up detecting it after a period of time.

Just by way of curiosity: Are there certain steps / activities that can aide / assist in detection / learning? Historically, we don’t charge at the same time every day - just plugging in whenever the vehicle gets home. But if beneficial to the ML algorithms - we could certainly configure the vehicle to defer charging until a specific time-of-day (say, midnight) each day, so that it was kicking off at a consistent time.



Hey Billy,

No need to configure your EV to charge at a specific time of the day. In the case of your Fusion, detection will likely come down to detection algorithm development on our end. Detection of EVs is still fairly limited but the team will be working on expanding our detection of EVs soon!