Paris Could Ban SUVs and Gas-Guzzling Vehicles From City
Paris will be the first of its kind to ban gas-guzzling vehicles from its city limits, something that might cause other cities to follow suit, if testing goes well. The city will begin testing this idea next year on vehicles that emit more than a certain amount of carbon dioxide per kilometer.
Paris isn’t alone in their hope to ban these vehicles. Within the next two years, other French cities like Lyon, Grenolbe and Aix-en-Provence will test similar restrictions.
Denis Baupin, an official in the mayor’s office, pointed out that the plan would target older diesel vehicles and larger sport-utility vehicles.
"I'm sorry," Baupin said on RTL Radio, "but having a sport utility vehicle in a city makes no sense."
When asked what owners of SUVs should do, he said, "sell it and buy a vehicle that’s compatible with city life.”
Currently, the issue is being debated and there has been no word on which types of vehicles and what types of engines would be targeted.
There are many other European cities that have placed “low emission zones” within their city limits. In London, drivers have to pay £10 to enter the city during a weekday, but hybrids and electric vehicles enter for free.
These recent events have led to a revolution in the auto industry, as automakers are looking to hybrid and battery power, rather than the conventional engines. Nissan’s Leaf is being targeted towards Britons, as the company is looking to build 50,000 units per year in Sunderland by 2013.
General Motors are also tackling the issue with the Opel Ampera, or Chevrolet Volt, as it’s known in the United States. Toyota offers hybrid versions of most of their vehicles, as do Mercedes and BMW. Even the exotic automakers like Porsche are looking to hybrid technology.
The plan being put in place in Paris, if it works, could catch on in other European cities. If it does, automakers will need to drastically change their product line in order to compensate. That being said, it’s hard to imagine anything like this happening in the United States, although we wouldn’t be opposed to it in smog filled cities like Los Angeles.