SUVs bound to pay triple parking fees in Paris

The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has imposed an excess tariff for heavy cars parking within the city’s boundaries. If her proposition, the so-called ‘SUV fee’,  is adopted by public vote, these vehicles will have to pay triple the price. There’s no exemption for zero-emission drivelines. The people will vote on the 4th of February.

Paris City Hall proposes a threefold increase in parking rates for SUVs and other weighty vehicles, as revealed by PS Mayor Hidalgo last Friday. If the majority votes to create a specific rate for heavy, large, and polluting individual cars, these drivers will be subjected to an hourly fee of 18 euros in central districts and 12 euros in outer districts. That is three times more than usual.

Two tons for BEVs

The proposal for a parking penalty based on weight has been circulating for some time, but a pricing schedule hasn’t yet been fixed. The administration uses a weight criterion: 1,6 tons for thermal and hybrid vehicles and 2 tons for electric vehicles, which carry heavier batteries, to distinguish between regular and oversized cars.

The mayor stated there’s no exception for zero-emission drivelines like BEVs because they “pollute due to their braking and tire systems emitting fine particles”. So, when called an SUV fee, the rule aims at big vehicles in a much broader sense.

The ruling primarily affects commuting drivers. If the majority votes for “yes”, Parisian residents, professionals, taxi drivers, and people with reduced mobility are excluded. Also, the tariff will not apply during the night and on Sundays.

Larger is unhealthier

Applied to Paris’s current fleet, the tariff increase would affect 10% of the vehicles visiting the city daily and could generate a profit of 35 million euros. Though the scheme seems to target the SUV trend, certain cross-overs like the Renault Captur, Dacia Duster, or Peugeot 2008 would still file for regular pricing.

According to Hidalgo, the initiative aims to accelerate the ecological transition and combat air pollution. She pointed out that the larger the vehicle, the greater the pollution, posing health risks and increasing the likelihood of accidents, especially for vulnerable individuals such as children. Additionally, the proposal seeks to address the issue of public space, emphasizing the need for better sharing of non-free public areas.

Similar to vote on e-steps

Regarding the latter, the administration is also pushing for a 50 km/hour speed limit on the ring road. It will be applied during the Olympic Games and might not be reversed – if the French state approves.

The public vote for the ‘SUV fee’ is similar to last April’s one on free-floating e-steps. These were banned after an overwhelming majority spoke out against them.

The Parisian rally against SUVs brings to mind the measures adopted by the Walloon government. Since January this year, both registration and road tax schemes have been based upon the maximum permissible weight of a vehicle. This means owners of SUVs, other large vehicles, and station wagons pay higher taxes.

If Hidalgo’s proposal is approved, it will undoubtedly entice other European metropolitan cities to follow the example.

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