Almost seven million cars could splutter to a standstill this week, as Sri Lanka’s emergency fuel reserves run dry.

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Fuel reserves in Sri Lanka will run dry today unless urgent relief is provided, according to the island nation’s new Prime Minister.

The situation could leave an estimated 7.2 million drivers – and more than five-million motorcycle riders – stranded across the country.

Sri Lanka’s 21.9 million citizens currently uses an estimated 123 thousand barrels of oil daily, making it the world’s 71st largest consumer.

While an emergency supply has historically been maintained, crippling economic condition has seen this dwindle in recent months.

The government claims it is unable to pay for new shipments, amid skyrocketing inflation and and widespread social unrest.

India has suggested it plans to provide fuel and cash loans to alleviate the disaster, however it’s unclear when these are likely to arrive.

Despite the impending shortage, official Sri Lankan fuel prices remained well below average last week ­– at 283.00₨ ($AU1.13) per litre.

The most popular new cars in the country are the Honda Vezel (HR-V), Toyota Aqua (Prius C), Suzuki Alto, and Honda Fit Hybrid (Jazz).

Australia imports approximately 90 per cent of its petrol, and at the peak of the Ukraine conflict supply fell from 90 days to just 32.

A security package updated by the Australia government earlier this year outlines strategies to prevent a similar national shortage (click here).

These include storage infrastructure upgrades and subsidies for locally-based oil refineries.

William Davis

William Davis has written for Drive since July 2020, covering news and current affairs in the automotive industry. He has maintained a primary focus on industry trends, autonomous technology, electric vehicle regulations, and local environmental policy. As the newest addition to the Drive team, William was brought onboard for his attention to detail, writing skills, and strong work ethic. Despite writing for a diverse range of outlets – including the Australian Financial Review, Robb Report, and Property Observer – since completing his media degree at Macquarie University, William has always had a passion for cars.

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