The European Federation for Transport and Environment published a study earlier this year that showed SUVs are becoming too large for European roads and parking spaces. With pollution from SUVs also a concern, climate activists insist there should be restrictions against owners of bulky vehicles.

The results of a referendum held over the weekend in France's capital show that some people are okay with making the lives of SUV owners a bit harder. Parisians have voted in favor of effectively tripling parking fees to €18 (nearly $20) per hour in the city center and €12 (almost $13) in the rest of Paris. These changes won't apply to residential parking.

It should be mentioned that the decision won't only impact crossovers and SUVs. Owners of regular cars weighing 1,600 kilograms (3,527 pounds) or more will have to pony up the extra cash. Electric vehicles tipping the scales at over 2,000 kg (4,409 lbs) will also be affected. Those who live or work in Paris will be exempt, as will those suffering from disabilities. Additionally, taxi drivers, health workers, and tradespeople won't be impacted by the outcome of the referendum.

Only around 5.7 percent of voters, about 78,000 people out of a total of 1.3 million, went to one of the 39 voting booths. Parisians voted 54.55 percent in favor of tripling parking fees for heavier cars. Despite the low turnout, the decision is expected to come into effect as early as September 2024.

The referendum last year in April to ban rental electric scooters wasn't popular either, with only about 103,000 people voting, accounting for just seven percent of registered voters. Despite the low turnout, rented electric scooters were subsequently banned in the City of Lights.

The new referendum held over the weekend is projected to impact about 10 percent of vehicles in Paris, as stated by the city's deputy mayor in charge of transport, David Belliard. It's safe to assume that someone who owns a big luxury SUV such as a Mercedes GLE or a BMW X5 won't have an issue with paying an hourly rate of €18 instead of €6.

That said, the outcome of the voting could influence other capitals to take similar action. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo believes that some European cities will be encouraged to take similar measures, stating:

"Parisians have made a clear choice... other cities will follow. We're proud of having posed an eminently environmental question at a time when the environment is presented as the source of all evil. It's a form of resistance here in Paris to this very concerning movement."

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