The city of Paris wants to decrease SUV uptake by introducing an additional parking fee.
According to British news outlet The Guardian, Paris will penalise owners for parking in the capital city based on their vehicle size, weight and engine.
Councillors approved the new measure through a unanimous vote in June 2023.
“From 1 January 2024, SUV owners can expect to pay higher fees to park in the French capital,” said the council in a statement, The Guardian reports.
The Guardian reports electric vehicles and owners with large families – who require a larger car – are expected to avoid the increased fees.
“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,” Ecology Party councillor Frédéric Badina-Serpette told The Guardian.
Mr Badina-Serpette claims 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”.
“There are no dirt paths , no mountain roads … SUVs are absolutely useless in Paris. Worse, they are dangerous, cumbersome and use too many resources to manufacture,” said deputy mayor responsible for public space and mobility policy, David Belliard.
Spokesperson from organisation 40 Millions d’Automobilistes, Pierre Chasseray, said SUV adoption has grown as a result of families moving away from people movers.
“They are family vehicles … used for going away at weekends or on holiday. We’re pandering to a tiny minority of the very urban population who have decided to make the SUV the symbol of the battle against pollution,” said Mr Chasseray to Le Parisien.
According to The Guardian, Paris officials say the French capital has experienced a 60 per cent increase in SUV adoption over the last four years.
SUVs reportedly now make up 15 per cent of the 1.15 million vehicles parked in the French capital.
It appears Paris is not alone in introducing higher parking charges to drivers based on their vehicle’s weight. According to The Guardian, Lyon and Grenoble are expected to introduce similar measures.