According to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the measure is intended to reduce emissions and increase pedestrian safety.

Visitors to Paris whose internal combustion engine or hybrid vehicle exceeds 1.6 tons, or two tons in the case of electric cars, will pay 18 euros (449 CZK) per hour to park in the central districts and 12 euros (299 CZK) in the outer districts. Currently, parking in the center costs six euros (150 CZK) per hour and four euros (100 CZK) on the outskirts of Paris. Six hours of parking in the center will cost 225 euros (5,600 CZK) instead of the current 75 euros (1,870 CZK).

The DPA agency said that about 1.3 million residents of the French capital could vote, but according to preliminary results, only about six percent of them took advantage of the opportunity. 54.5 percent of voters were in favor of the proposal, approximately 45.5 percent were against it.

The new tariff will apply exclusively to visitors to Paris. It does not apply to its residents or craftsmen or providers of care services. It will not apply to private parking garages.

“The bigger (the car) is, the more it pollutes,” justified the measure in December by Hidalgo, who has already opened up the Seine embankment, banned cars from one of the city’s main thoroughfares, the Rue de Rivoli, and greened 200 streets by removed transport. According to the mayor, accidents involving SUVs are also more dangerous for pedestrians than collisions with standard cars.

However, motoring associations criticized the initiative. For example, some of them disagree with the claim that the new SUV pollutes the air more than a small diesel car produced before 2011.