Parisians weigh in on SUVs

For or against tripling parking rates for tall and heavy cars, called SUVs? Parisians are invited to speak out this Sunday, some moving to defend “ecology”, others to try to sanction the “diktats” of the left-wing municipality.

Some 1.3 million voters are invited to vote “for or against the creation of a specific rate for the parking of heavy, bulky, polluting individual cars”.

Specifically targeted are SUVs (sport utility vehicles), with characteristics combining “those of a passenger car with those of a utility vehicle”, and 4x4s.

At the town hall of 10e district, in the north-east of the capital, where large posters promoting the vote have been put up, we tend to vote “for”. In a “very banal way, for ecological reasons”, summarizes Caroline, a 51-year-old teacher. “And we don’t really need an SUV in Paris…”

“It takes up too much space, it pollutes and it hinders bicycle traffic,” says Jérôme, 59, bicycle helmet in hand.

If the “for” side wins, the visitor whose thermal or rechargeable hybrid vehicle exceeds 1.6 tonnes, or two tonnes for an electric vehicle, will have to pay 18 euros per hour for the central districts, 12 euros for the outer districts. .

In theory, “Parisian residents and sedentary professionals parked in their authorized parking zone, taxi drivers in dedicated stations, craftsmen, health professionals” and disabled people will not be affected, lists the town hall.

In the capital, which has already pedestrianized the quays of the Seine and greened 200 streets by eliminating traffic, mayor Anne Hidalgo, of the Socialist Party, justified the vote by the fight against pollution, better sharing of public space and “road safety”, accidents involving an SUV being, according to the town hall, “twice as fatal for pedestrians as with a standard car”.

” For kids [piétons]it’s dangerous,” says Antoine, 36, who came to vote with his family in the 10e. He almost regrets that the vote only concerns non-residents: “It’s a symbol, but it’s a start.”


At the town hall of the very chic 8e district, where SUVs are well represented among the cars parked nearby, the majority are “against”.

Already “the question is very poorly asked,” laments Anne-Marie, 71, who came to vote with her husband. “We start with this […] and then we will ban anything. »

Jeannine, 75, is “fed up” [des] dictates of Mme Hidalgo.” “We’re fed up with all these environmentalists,” she says.

The NGO WWF describes SUVs as an “aberration” in the face of global warming: they are “200 kilos heavier, 25 cm longer, 10 cm wider” than a standard car. And require more materials for their manufacture, consume 15% fuel and emit 20% CO2 more than a sedan.

Unsurprisingly, the motorists’ associations castigated the town hall’s initiative, recalling that SUV is a “marketing name” which “means nothing”, reacts Yves Carra, spokesperson for the Mobilité Club France.

For the right-wing opposition, this “demonstrates the extent of the manipulation by the City, which targets SUVs in its communication when in reality, any type of vehicle is likely to be affected by the standards submitted to the vote” .

“It’s part of a form of punitive ecology”, even if we have to “move towards lighter vehicles”, Christophe Béchu, the French Minister of Ecological Transition, declared on RTL.

Owners of an SUV because otherwise, “with two children, going on vacation is complicated”, Stéphanie, 40, voted “against” in the 8e. As a resident, she is not concerned at the moment, but “can see it happening”. “If you want to have a city without cars and without streets, you have to go to the countryside! », blurts out her husband.

According to the town hall, the surcharge would concern “around 10% of the park” and could bring in around 35 million euros in additional revenue.

This vote is the second in the capital, after the one which ratified the eviction of self-service scooters in April 2023.

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