How to Use Tether
Tether is an Optimization and Machine Learning algorithm that connects to your EV charger's existing software and aggregates all the cars connected to our network into flexible sources of power. We use this capacity to participate in the Balancing Markets. No new app needed, no additional installation required. Simply opt in, plug in, and voila - you're a part of the Tether network!
The service we provide is a Balancing Service, which just means flexible power. Simply put, by being able to change your EV's charging speed, we can help the grid: just slow or speed up your charging for a few minutes at a time. This service is only activated 1.27% of the time though, meaning that by changing your charging for a tiny fraction of the year, you can earn rewards.
Since we earn revenue even without activation, through Tether you can continuously earn credits that you can use as you see fit by simply plugging in: discount them directly from your electricity / charger bill, earn discounts for some of our sustainable partner brands, or if you want to really maximize your impact, you can choose to donate the money to an NGO of your choice. Your move!
Juggling everyone's schedule while ensuring power is not an easy problem to solve, which is why we are deploying state-of-the-art Machine Learning algorithms to learn how you drive and when the electric grid needs our services. By doing this, we can deliver reserves to grid while ensuring you don't notice a change in your charging experience. You can change your settings at any time.
We can't do this without you, which is why we're putting in so much effort to make our EV User experience as seamless as possible: Our app will let you keep tabs on your vehicle, see the historical data of when and how it's been charged, when it's been activated, how much power you and Tether have contributed, how much CO2 has been offset, and how much passive revenue you've earned.
At Tether, we understand your car is an investment, and we treat it as such: we optimize your EV's battery charging so that we may actually reduce it's degradation over time. Preliminary studies show this might save you up to €350/year in equivalent cost over the lifetime of your vehicle. That means longer lasting batteries, fewer resources mined, and less waste. That's music to our ears.
We're building our algorithm to work with bi-directional chargers + EVs from the beginning. As V2G becomes the norm, you'll be able to not only change your charging patterns, but also momentarily reverse them and discharge you car. This is a gamechanger. By blurring the lines between consumer and producer of power, you can more than double your impact and your earnings.
Tether participates on the Reserve Market, which typically consists of hydro, gas, or nuclear power plants that can change their power output based on the real time needs of the electricity network.
We participate in the Primary Frequency Containment Reserve submarkets; we don't want to get too much into market mechanics, but in short, we act as a flexible power load for the grid in case something goes wrong. Depending on the conditions on the grid, that simply means we start, stop, or change the speed of your EV charging, for an average of 1.2 minutes. The best part is that for 98.7% of the time, the grid is operating fine, meaning we do absolutely nothing and you charge as normal - while earning rewards.
Using machine learning and predictive modeling, Tether is able to monitor patterns on the Electricity Market, the driving patterns of Electric Vehicles, as well as the load profiles of our facility customers in order to create manageable, reliable Reserve Bids.
The best part is that the more installations we build and the more EVs we manage, the higher the reliability of our bids and services: by using stochastic modeling, our network is able to reduce the risks inherent to bidding in a day-ahead fashion through the aggregation of geographically separate facilities, allowing for more efficient use of EV batteries and ensuring bid compliance.
Finally, let's not forget the most important part: you, the EV owner! Tether manages the user profiles of each individual, taking your driving and charging schedules into account when calculating our available capacity at a given moment. Our goal is that you never notice a difference in your charging experience.
It is extremely important that we maintain our customers happy, and that requires allowing them to specify charging and discharging windows; however, we know most people only charge their car once every two or three days - and we want to change that. Even if you don't plan on charging your car, by plugging it in it can still contribute to the green transition because it can absorb excess power for minutes if needed. It makes a big difference.
Tether is an algorithm that will roll out in phases. We plan to start as an aggregator of power for Reserve Markets, adding features such as load management down the line.
Already, an alpha version of the algorithm is being finalized. As EV charger protocols and technologies continue to evolve, so too will Tether's capabilities. Most EVs today can't discharge - but they can stop charging - and that's more than enough to stabilize the grid - so we'll be moving from first stage intelligent charging to full bi-directional V2G; when it becomes commonplace, cars will really just be batteries that happen to have wheels, and that's when the true potential of EVs - and Tether - will really be unlocked.
"The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing." - Isaac Asimov
* The numbers presented at the top banner are approximations and may change over time as product development continues. The remuneration figures represent initial assessments from pre-alpha versions of the algorithm and are based on a standard set of vehicle charging windows and FCR prices. The CO2 emissions figure represents an assumed reduction from a third-party FCR emissions study, and assumes average Netherlands Reserve generation; this figure will vary significantly based on the types of reserves that are activated in each market. Battery degradation testing is still being performed, and the presented figure represents an early approximation based on standard lithium ion passive degradation numbers under standard test conditions, and will vary based on usage patterns and storage conditions.