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


While we’ve been publishing release notes for updates to our mobile and web apps for a while now, we haven’t been as good about sharing what’s going on “behind the scenes.” As we continue to try and tackle device detection challenges, our data science and engineering teams are constantly building and releasing new updates that help make small, incremental improvements to Sense’s capabilities. We’ve been trying to come up with a way to share more of this work with the community, to provide a window into what work has been going on and how it might improve device detection for our users. So this is our first shot at some “Device Detection Release Notes.” We won’t make these announcements for every improvement, but we’ll do so when there are particularly noteworthy ones like this.

We’re excited to announce a new device detector for Chevy Volt and Bolt electric vehicles. EVs can represent a significant portion of overall usage, and based on the feedback from our customers and our data analysis, we’re quite sure that many Sense users also have EVs. Sense currently detects certain Teslas (most Model S and Model X, though depends on manufacturing batch), BMWs (i3), and now Chevys (Volt and Bolt). We unfortunately still do not have reliable detectors for Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model 3, or other EVs, but are continuously working on improvements.

As always, please note that due to the nature of device detection and machine learning algorithms, there is no guarantee that if you have one of these devices at home, Sense will detect yours. How often you use a device plays a significant role in its detection. For electric vehicles, if you don’t charge your EV at home every couple days, then Sense may not be able to extract enough examples to train a reliable EV model. For example, if you often charge your EV at work or other parking garage instead of at home, or if you often just “top off” at home rather than going through a full charging process, there likely won’t be enough examples for Sense identify detection. In addition, Chevy detection, at this time, is reliant on use of a 240V EVSE. 120V charging will not be detected at this time.

Still, between the complexities of machine learning and the particularities of individual homes, even with time, Sense might not be able to detect a device. Based on specifics of other devices running in your home, or your unique usage of certain devices, certain devices can be tough for Sense to detect. EVs in particular present a unique set of challenges, due to their long-duration load profiles.

Thanks for your continued patience and feedback as we continue working on device detection. We couldn’t do it without you!


Great news. I have a 2013 Volt and will be excited to see it detected. Nothing yet however.


My 2014 Volt was detected. Great!


Does this Volt detection potentially include charging at 120v with a regular power cord?


excited. still waiting for my 2017 to be detected…


Imma weighing-out Leaf and Bolt over price and distance, respectfully.
Comfort will matter, but I may choose Leaf even if Sense doesn’t detect it. It needs to charge, I know it costs less than fuel.


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.


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.


2 Volts in our household, so this is a biggie for me. Hoping to see them detected soon.

I’ve always had them both programmed to start charging right at 7PM when our electricity goes to off peak rates, but I figured for detection purposes it may be best if I changed things up so one car charges at 7, and one car charges at 3-4AM instead, avoiding the overlap. I’m hoping that my thinking is beneficial to detection and proper logging.


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.


Can’t wait for my Bolt EV to be detected, although my charger gives me the same information, and I can see what the car is doing while charging in Sense already. I have been waiting for 15 months for this.


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 do not expect to see my 2015 Volt detected as its in the Garage on a Sub panel related to my Solar detection.

I still say the objects in this sub panel should be detected even on top of the Solar signal. I see a very distinct wave form for the Volt on top of (a er underneath) the Solar signal in the Meter reading.

Carol :open_mouth:


I don’t have an EV yet but should have a Model X come December, so thank you for the transparency in what’s going on behind the scenes to provide us with continuing confidence in this product!


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.


I don’t have an EV (yet). I’m thinking about it though, certainly since we are getting solar soon.