Controversial Outburst on News of Higher Parking Charges for SUVs in Paris

Motorists driving SUVs in Paris may soon face higher parking fees compared to other vehicles, as part of a new initiative proposed by the city’s socialist mayor, Anne Hidalgo.

Critics argue that Hidalgo’s announcement aims to divert attention from controversy surrounding her €60,000 two-week trip to the South Pacific, funded by taxpayers. Hidalgo, known for her anti-car stance in Paris, previously held a referendum in April advocating for the ban of rental e-scooters, which passed with only 7.5% voter turnout.

Hidalgo now plans to conduct a vote on Feb 4 next year to determine whether parking fees for SUVs should be increased. The vote is open to all registered Paris residents who cast their vote by Jan 8.

In justifying the proposal, Hidalgo stated, “With this vote, we want to say ‘stop’—stop the excesses of car manufacturers, who are pushing people to buy ever bigger, more expensive, more raw material-intensive, more polluting vehicles.”

David Belliard, the mayoral deputy overseeing transport and leader of the Green Party in the Paris council, emphasized, “There is a section of the population that has had enough of these SUVs.”

The potential increase in parking fees would apply to combustion or rechargeable hybrid vehicles weighing 1.6 tons or more, and electric SUVs weighing two tons or more. Fees would be levied only if residents parked outside their designated residential spaces or zones. Notably, SUV ownership in Paris’ 20 arrondissements is relatively low, with suburban motorists who drive into the city likely to be most affected by the proposed higher fees. However, these suburban motorists will not have the opportunity to vote in the upcoming referendum.

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