Device Detection Major Update: Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicles - 12/20/2018


Following our recent Chevy Volt and Bolt EV announcement, we’re excited to announce a new device detector for Nissan Leaf electric vehicles, adding to our list of detectable EVs: Tesla Model S and Model X (with some exceptions due to manufacturing batch), BMW i3, Chevy Volt and Bolt, and now Nissan Leaf. We’re still working hard on a good detector for Tesla Model 3, and hope to roll that out soon.

Please note that not all Nissan Leaf EVs will be detected right away. Initial models have begun rolling out to homes, but further work is still being undertaken. As we gather more data, models will improve and more Leafs should begin to be detected.

The following was noted in the recent Chevy EV update and remains relevant for Nissan Leaf detection:

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.

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.


Looking forward to mine being detected!

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How much data does Sense need to recognize a Leaf? Using a Level 2 EVSE, I charge fully 5-7 times a week. Due to moving to a new home, I deleted my old home’s data, so I only have a few weeks’ data at the moment. I’m wondering how long it will take for Sense to detect the vehicle.

By “charge fully” I mean that the Leaf draws its full 6.6kW for at least some time (1/2 hour or more) before it starts its noisy 2-hour trickle-down, and ending with its 3, 5-minute-ish little pulses. I don’t often draw the battery below the car’s Low Battery Warning.

Device Detection Major Update: Tesla Model 3 - 1/9/19

My leaf charging at level 2 6.6kW was discovered after about 30 days of data. Charging around once daily. The detector gets the bulk of the charge, but when it starts ramping down, the sense detected device does it a tad too rapidly.


I’m 6-7 weeks in, and still no detection of my Leaf by Sense. I charge at home virtually every day. The car is, I’m sure, a big reason that I still have 79% of my electrical usage in the “Other” category. My car’s a 2015 Leaf SL.


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My Leaf showed up in Sense last night–woot! This should go a long way towards reducing my Unknown load from ~75% of my overall usage.


Now that my Leaf is detected I can see just what you mean. Sense recorded this usage for last night’s charge:

The recorded ramp-down was very quick–only about 10 minutes.

However, if you look at my full usage graph for the same time period, you can see that the actual usage ramped down much more slowly, and lasted for about 80 minutes longer than Sense recorded, not even including the three ~5 minute pulses that incorporate the end-of-charge for the Leaf. (Battery conditioning? Final top-up? I don’t know what the car is doing, but it’s always there.) I plugged the car in when my home’s heat had already set back for the night, and nothing else large was running; I’d say that less than 200W of this waveform over the entire captured range is non-Leaf usage.

Given how very noisy the Leaf’s end of charge cycle is, I wouldn’t expect Sense to capture it precisely. Could the device model be improved? Sure. But I’m happy that the bulk of the full-rate charge is captured correctly as device usage. This device recognition will go a long way towards reducing my ~75% usage that’s in the Unknown category.