Paris city hall has announced that it will be introducing heightened parking fees for drivers of SUVs as part of its crackdown on congestion and air pollution.
Hôtel de Ville (city hall) has not as of yet disclosed specific details about the scheme but the size and weight of the vehicles will reportedly be taken into consideration.
Last month, Lyon became the first French city to approve parking charges based on a car’s weight, which will come into effect in 2024.
The number of SUVs in Paris has reportedly increased by 60% during the past four years and they now comprise 15% of the 1.15m parked private vehicles.
Frédéric Badina-Serpette, councillor for the Europe Écologie – Les Verts (EELV) party in Paris, commented that the aim of this charge is to “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”, as reported by The Guardian.
David Belliard, the vice-mayor of Paris, added: “[SUVs] are not very suitable for the urban environment. There are no mountain or dirt roads… SUVs are completely useless in Paris.
“In addition, they are also dangerous and cumbersome, and their production consumes too many resources.”
Other reasons suggested for the growing number of SUVs included that larger families were switching to them as an alternative to people carriers.
In February this year, the International Energy Agency reported that SUVs, on average, consume around 20% more oil than typical medium-size non-SUV cars, with the world’s combined total of 330 million SUVs emitting nearly one billion tonnes of CO₂.