SUVs will spend a lot of money for parking in Paris

In the end, the referendum to penalize SUVs in Paris has taken place. Ultimately, with 54% support and 78,121 votes out of approximately 1.4 million eligible voters, Paris will implement a parking fee three times higher for SUVs compared to other vehicles. It is important to note, however, that this additional fee will only be applied to visitors and not to residents’ cars.

The decision, which many may consider debatable, is commendable at least for the citizen involvement. It should be noted, though, that even though it is officially aimed at SUVs, in reality, it is a weight-based tariff and will affect many cars on the market, both conventional and electric.

How Paris will change for SUV drivers

This move has been met with mixed reactions. SUV supporters see the decision as a “crusade against cars,” while those in favor of having fewer cars in the city welcome it. In the days leading up to the vote, environmental activists posted posters with the slogan “The road is ours” to support the cause.

The debate extends not only to the validity of the measure but also to the wording of the referendum. In France, referendum questions can be complex and controversial, and the discussion about formulating the questions has contributed to polarization between supporters and opponents of the SUV parking fee. Many are also dissatisfied that the measure applies “only” to non-residents.

However, the approval of the referendum means that heavier vehicles will pay triple the current parking rates, up to €18 per hour (134 DKK/h) with the aim of reducing traffic. Specifically, the measure applies to internal combustion or plug-in hybrid cars weighing 1.6 tons or more and electric vehicles weighing two tons or more. Considering how heavy modern vehicles, not just SUVs or electric ones, are, it is clear that Paris aims to favor small and light cars.

As mentioned, their parking fees will be tripled, going from the current €6 per hour (already high) to €18 per hour for central districts and €12 per hour for peripheral districts, from the 12th to the 20th arrondissement.

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