Residents of Paris have voted to triple the city’s parking charges for SUVs. 

In a step towards turning Paris into a fully bikeable metropolis, Parisians have endorsed a significant shift in parking fees, specifically targeting SUVs and other heavy vehicles. 

With a 54.5 per cent majority, the citizens of Paris voiced their support for a policy aimed at discouraging the use of “bulky, polluting” vehicles by tripling their parking charges. 

Starting from a base fee, cars weighing over 1.6 tonnes will now face a parking charge of 18 euros (AU$29) per hour. 

This fee also extends to electric vehicles tipping the scales at 2 tonnes or more.

The decision comes on the heels of a previous referendum where Parisians voted to ban e-scooters, underscoring the city's broader agenda to reclaim its streets for non-motorised forms of transportation. 

“We're proud of having posed an eminently environmental question at a time the environment is presented as the source of all evil,” said Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

“It's a form of resistance here in Paris to this very concerning movement."

The move is part of a larger strategy under Mayor Hidalgo's leadership, which has seen the creation of 84 kilometres of cycle lanes since 2020 and a significant 71 per cent increase in bike usage post-COVID-19 lockdowns. 

These measures have not only changed the urban landscape but also sparked a dialogue about the necessity of heavy vehicles in a city striving for sustainability and safety. 

However, the policy has ignited frustration among motorists, particularly SUV owners who view the increased charges as prohibitively expensive.

The motorists' lobby group, “40 Millions D'automobilistes”, has initiated a petition to defend drivers' freedom of choice, arguing against what they perceive as an unjust attack on personal liberties under the guise of environmentalism.

But the environmental impact of SUVs is clear. These vehicles are notorious for their higher fuel consumption and increased carbon footprint, with the WWF labelling them an “aberration”. 

Paris City Hall has also raised safety concerns, noting that SUVs pose a significantly higher risk to pedestrians in the event of an accident.

Paris's stance against SUVs has reportedly inspired other French cities like Lyon to consider similar measures.