Paris Will Charge Drivers of Heavier Cars More in Attempt to Tackle ‘Auto-Besity’

Paris Will Charge Drivers of Heavier Cars More in Attempt to Tackle ‘Auto-Besity’

By now, it’s well established that the heavier a vehicle is, the more damage it does to the road and the deadlier it is to others in a wreck. But without any real incentive to buy smaller vehicles, people continue to buy more and more SUVs. And it’s not just happening in the U.S. It’s also happening in Europe, where Ford just killed off the Fiesta and expects people to buy the Puma instead. But it looks like Paris wants to change things.

The Guardian reports that Paris is about to start charging more for parking if you drive a big vehicle. The exact details of the plan have yet to be announced, but apparently, the size of the vehicle, its weight and the size of its engine will all factor into what you’ll have to pay for parking. But if you drive an electric vehicle or have enough kids that you require a large vehicle, it’s expected that you’ll be exempt.

That first part is a bit of an odd decision since your body won’t care that a Hummer EV is electric while it runs you over in the crosswalk, and EVs are typically significantly heavier than their gas-powered counterparts. But we guess EVs don’t actively pollute the air around them, so at least there’s that. But also, having a bunch of kids is a choice, and maybe the French Duggars (Dougairres?) should pay extra to park their van, too.

“We would like the city of Paris to change the pricing of paid parking to make it progressive according to the weight and size of vehicles,” Frédéric Badina-Serpette, a councilor from the EELV ecology party, told reporters after a unanimous vote from the city’s councilors back in June. He also added that the goal was “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.”

According to David Belliard, a deputy mayor in charge of public space and mobility policy, SUVs just don’t make sense in an urban environment such as Paris. “There are no dirt paths , no mountain roads … SUVs are absolutely useless in Paris. Worse, they are dangerous, cumbersome and use too many resources to manufacture,” he told the Guardian.

Pierre Chasseray, a spokesperson for the pro-driving group 40 millions d’Automobilistes, disagreed, telling Le Parisien, “They are family vehicles … used for going away at weekends or on holiday. We’re pandering to a tiny minority of the very urban population who have decided to make the SUV the symbol of the battle against pollution.”

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