Nearly 55 percent of voters agreed to increase the fee for large and heavy vehicles...
You might want to think twice before driving your enormous SUV into Paris. Residents of the City of Light have voted to triple the fee for parking excessively large and heavy vehicles, according to Bloomberg. The city's mayor, Anne Hidalgo, hopes that the significant price increase will help reduce pollution in the city.
The increase in price is the result of a referendum held on Sunday. Nearly 55 percent of voters agreed to increase the price for parking "heavy, bulky, and polluting cars" in the city center to €18 (19.35 dollars at today's exchange rate) per hour and €12 (12.91 dollars) per hour in the surrounding areas. That's triple what it costs to park smaller, less impressive vehicles on the city streets (the rates used to be the same).
Although some said the referendum targeted crossovers and SUV models, the new fee is based on weight, not class, according to Autoblog. The new price won't take effect unless your diesel, gasoline, or hybrid vehicle weighs over 1,600 kilograms. So, if you were planning to drive around Paris in a BMW X7, Land Rover Defender, or Mercedes-Benz G-Class — all vehicles weighing more than 2,500 KG — you should expect to pay a significant amount of money if you want to stop.
There's a bit more flexibility for electric vehicles – you are required to pay the higher parking fee if your vehicle weight exceeds 2,000 kilograms. That means anyone driving a GMC Hummer EV or both Rivian EV models, R1T and R1S SUVs, will be affected by the increase. None of these vehicles are currently available in Europe — although that could change sooner or later — but the Rolls-Royce Spectre is. The British marque's first battery-powered super coupe weighs over 3,250 kilograms.
It's easy to think of giant SUVs as a distinctly American phenomenon, but these models are popular worldwide, including in France. Sales of this vehicle class have increased sevenfold in the last decade and now account for 40 percent of new vehicles sold in the country, according to Bloomberg. If more of them had come out to vote against the referendum, they might not be facing higher parking rates now. Only 78,000 of the city's 1.3 million residents showed up to vote on Sunday.