SUVs are generally larger, heavier, and thirstier vehicles than hatchbacks, sedans, and even station wagons. Paris, the capital of France, sees them as one of the main sources of air pollution in the city and is planning to impose higher parking tariffs on what we call sport utility vehicles. The size, weight, and engine of the vehicle will be taken into account when calculating the fees.
The Guardian reports that the measure was approved by Paris councilors last month. The EELV ecology party proposed the new law saying the number of SUVs in Paris has increased by about 60 percent in the last four years. Still, they make up only around 15 percent of the city’s total fleet of approximately 1.15 million private vehicles.
“We would like the city of Paris to change the pricing of paid parking to make it progressive according to the weight and size of vehicles,” Frédéric Badina-Serpette, a councilor from the EELV, commented. “The aim is to focus on an absurdity: auto-besity … the inexorable growth in the weight and size of vehicles circulating in our cities, and particularly in Paris.”
The new rule is expected to become effective from January 1 next year when SUV owners will start paying higher parking fees. However, electric vehicles and vehicles of large families are expected to be excluded from the measure, though details of the charges and how SUVs will be categorized are not known at the moment.
Just earlier this year, the city of Lyon introduced a similar new law that will go into effect next year. France’s third-largest city announced a new parking policy, under which parking fees in public areas will be determined on a progressive basis based on the vehicle’s size, weight, and engine.
However, electric vehicles will qualify for the lowest parking fees of $16,50 (15 euros) per month, while combustion-powered vehicles that weigh more than 3,803 pounds (1,725 kilograms) will pay triple. Grenoble, a city with a population of around 450,000 people, is also expected to introduce a similar policy soon.