They’re large, heavy, and produce more emissions. These are the reasons Parisians have voted to triple the cost of parking for SUVs in France’s biggest city.
According to a report by The Guardian, approximately 54.6 per cent of voters agreed to implement “special parking fees” for petrol- and diesel-powered cars that weigh more than 1.6 tonnes in a referendum over the weekend.
That means non-residents of Paris will have to pay €18 ($NZ32) an hour to park vehicles like SUVs in the city’s central areas. However, those who park in outer areas will only have to fork out €12 ($NZ21).
Electric cars aren’t off the hook either, with owners of EVs weighing over 2 tonnes having to cough up the same fee as well.
The main driver behind the price hike is Anne Hidalgo, the socialist mayor of Paris, who said that road safety and air pollution are things SUVs aren’t helping to improve. She also said that the higher charge targets wealthy drivers who haven’t changed their behaviour in a bid to curve climate change.
While nothing of the like has been implemented in New Zealand, SUVs have still faced their fair share of backlash for similar reasons to the Parisians’.
In 2022, members of the global activist group Tyre Extinguishers targeted several SUVs in Wellington by deflating their tyres and leaving a note on the windscreen that reads: “Attention – your gas guzzlers kill”. Their actions aim to deter people from owning large vehicles in urban areas, but instead cause more of an annoyance than anything else.
SUVs are among the most popular vehicles on sale in New Zealand at the moment, with over 40k medium-sized examples hitting our roads in 2023.