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.

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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.

56 posts were merged into an existing topic: Detecting EV devices

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.


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 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!

excited. still waiting for my 2017 to be detected

Monday the ELR was detected and yet today it’s back to Other? :frowning:

One vote for the Tesla Model 3!

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The Volt has been around since 2011 so there’s lots of them out there still…and they have been remarkably consistent in their hardware makeup, probably offering a consistent dataset for which Sense can detect from.

I believe Tesla, on the other hand, likes to switch up their hardware quite often, so the electronic signature of many of their models may not only be different on a model to model basis, but possibly even a model AND year basis, perhaps making detection much more difficult.

That having been said, I’m still waiting for our Sense to pickup either of our Volts. Both have been charging at separate times of day for over a week now, putting around 22KW/day through our panel. Fingers crossed it picks them up soon, as needless to say our “Other” usage is putting a huge bell curve in my stats. :wink:

I got a “New mystery device found” this morning and Sense suggested it may be a pump of some sort. Really had no idea what it was, but I turned on notifications to see when it was firing. Low and behold when I got home tonight and plugged in my Volt, Sense threw a push notification at me that my mystery device had turned on, and then turned off a few seconds later. A spike was indeed registered on the consumption data.

I tested a few times, and yep, it’s my Volt. But not my ENTIRE Volt - my car doesn’t even start charging until 2AM usually as per it’s programming, but apparently when doing the initial plug-in there’s a pump or something (battery/electronics cooling or heating perhaps) that runs for a few seconds right afterwards.

When my wife came home and plugged in her Volt, same thing.

So, my actual charge cycle hasn’t been detected yet, but this portion thereof has been.

Still no detection on my 2013 Volt, and I charge daily off my 240 charger.

Still nothing here yet either. It’s still detecting something when I first plug in to the EVSE, but none of my actual charging cycle yet.

1 car charging from 7PM to 10:30PM or so every night, and the second car is charging from around 1AM to 4:30AM or so.

Given the immense complexities of device detection, it’s possible that something is happening somewhere that is preventing detection in both of your cases. Or, and this is a better problem to have, Sense just still needs to see more data. I’d recommend giving it another couple of weeks and if you still have nothing, shoot a ticket to Support.

Look at my data all you want if it’s helpful, we have 2 first gen Volts charging every single day of the week, at least one of them (my wifes) typically going from 0%SOC to 100%SOC M-F consistently (with smaller top ups on weekends as well), and mine usually from at least 50%SOC to 100%SOC (My commute is less than my wifes) most days as well, with some days also being a 0-100%SOC charge.

As for the ramp time, take a look at my screenshots - the ramp time on both of our cars is literally seconds and it reaches full amp draw - the ramp down would seem to be the more challenging part, but it’s typically <5min as well and seems fairly predictable.

I’m starting to wonder what’s happening on my end that I haven’t seen either of our Volts detected yet as it would seem I’m a prime candidate data-wise (2 cars, daily heavy charge cycles, etc) but after approaching a month, still nothing.