KOKO fuel from KOKO Networks Limited is one of the only, and most prominent, agrofuel in the country. Made from liquid bioethanol, a combination of highly integrated substances forming clean ethanol, they are not only affordable, they are also convenient and safer for the environment.
To facilitate the usage of the fuel, KOKO Networks has created a distribution network in stores in Nairobi. They count a total of 700 outlets with well over 600 agents. Consumers can also purchase adapted stoves that operate with this clean fuel, a modern two-burner ethanol stove designed by the company. Maintenance, provisioning and payment services are all managed remotely via IoT sensors that communicate with the KOKO networks platform.
Thanks to this intricate, carefully-designed network, KOKO has just lit its 50,000th household in Kenya when customer number 50,000 picked up their KOKO Cooker and Smart Canister. She thus joined one of the fastest-growing community of clean energy consumers.
KOKO’s CEO, Greg Murray said of this milestone. “KOKO’s mission is to imagine and deliver technology that transforms life in the world’s fastest-growing cities, and KOKO Fuel is now doing exactly that for over 50,000 households in Nairobi.”
He adds that, “COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of healthy lungs and clean air, and the bulk of our growth has occurred during the pandemic. Our team has done an exceptional job of adjusting to the new reality, enabling us to safely operate whilst scaling the delivery of this essential solution.”
Urban cooking in quite a number of households is still fired up with charcoal which devastates the forests and claims lives through carbon monoxide poisoning. The easy availability of charcoal around the estate corner makes it vastly popular. However, juxtaposing the cost of the KOKO Cooker kit, at half the price of competing modern solutions means clean fuel is a stone’s throw away.
According to their website, “bioethanol cooking fuel, when distributed via KOKO’s technology platform in partnership with the downstream fuels industry, has been independently assessed by Dalberg Global Development Advisors to involve 1/18th the capital expenditure of LPG.” The goal is to create a “credible and scalable option for solving the dirty cooking fuel crisis in urban Africa.”
How does IoT come in?
KOKO has taken a proven decades-old model for urban distribution of expensive liquids and combined it with modern IoT and machine learning technologies that dramatically increase the efficiency, visibility and control of the urban liquid flows. It’s the V2.0 Smart ATM Network approach to ethanol cooking fuel.
Delivered in partnership with Vivo Energy Kenya, a partnership signed in March 2019, KOKO’s fleet of Smart MicroTankers undertake the last-mile “milk run” between bulk fuel stored in dedicated tanks at petrol stations, then distribute it to the nearby Network of KOKOpoint “fuel ATMs” located inside small shops owned by KOKO Agent retail partners. The KOKO Points are fitted with several sensors that notify them of their machines’ health levels.
Greg is incredibly optimistic about the clean future. “It is still early days, but we are already over 10 per cent adoption in some Nairobi neighbourhoods, and word is spreading very quickly. It is really heartening to see such a strong response from Nairobi customers, who understand that clean modern cooking is now available to all, and not restricted to the wealthy.”
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