Paris Cracks Down on All Heavy Vehicles, Launching a New Era of Environmental Awareness
Following last year’s initial declaration, the residents of Paris have expressed their opinions and decided to triple the parking charges for large vehicles in France’s capital. According to a recent Reuters report, this decision was made through a referendum over the weekend, resulting in a new fee of €18 per hour for vehicles weighing 1,600 kilograms or more (equivalent to 3,527 pounds) when parked in the city center – a significant increase from the previous charge of €6. Electric vehicles (EVs) that weigh 2,000 kg (equal to 4,409 lbs) or more will also be subject to the same penalty. Outside of the city center, the fee will now be set at €12, approximately $13.
According to the recent survey, a majority of 54.5% of Paris residents chose to support the new regulation, while 45.5% opposed it. However, the voter turnout was low with only 5.7% of the total eligible population of 1.3 million participating in the election.
Despite the original focus on SUVs in Paris, the issue of weight applies to all large and heavy vehicles regardless of their shape or how they are powered. As an illustration, a BMW 7 Series exceeds the weight limit with its 4,000-pound curb weight, while a Tesla Model S Plaid weighs almost 5,000 pounds. Despite neither being classified as an SUV, both vehicles will face increased fees for parking due to their weight.
Despite the regulations, not all electric vehicles will face penalties. For instance, the Model Y, which was the top-selling car in Europe in 2023, meets the criteria in its standard form.
It is no secret that the extremely obese GMC Hummer EV, which weighs 9,640 lbs, is not received warmly in the city of Paris.
Paris has made a name for itself in enforcing strict measures against vehicles. In 2021, under the leadership of Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the city reduced its speed limit drastically to only 19 mph.
“We’re proud of having posed an eminently environmental question at a time the environment is presented as the source of all evil,” stated Hidalgo in response to the recently published results. “This is a form of resistance here in Paris against the alarming trend of blaming the environment for everything.”
Hidalgo (along with supporters of the new regulation) expresses the view that larger vehicles contribute significantly to environmental pollution. Furthermore, they are criticized for occupying excessive space on streets and in parking areas, as well as posing a greater risk to those traveling on foot.
According to some, the situation has escalated to an unreasonable extent. This includes the stance of “40 millions dáutomobilistes,” a lobby group representing motorists, who are advocating for drivers to have the freedom to choose any vehicle they desire.
“We must firmly oppose these attacks on freedom pursued under false green pretexts,” declares the group. “If we do not take action immediately, this unjustified rebellion, led by a minority of ultra-urban and anti-car individuals, will inevitably spread like gangrene to other cities.”