Paris’s recent decision to raise parking prices for SUVs and larger vehicles could lead to a significant decline in the global car industry but would specifically impact the United States. The starting price for parking in the inner city of Paris for a non-electric SUV weighing 1.6 tons or an electric SUV weighing 2 tons is 18 Euros (19.54 American Dollars) an hour. While the starting hourly price for smaller cars is only 6 Euros. But the increase in pricing doesn’t stop there; after 2 hours of parking, the prices rise even more. For those looking to spend a day in the city, a six-hour parking rate for an SUV driver will cost you 225 euros compared to the regular rate of 75 euros.

In recent years, there has been a shift towards the popularity of SUVs as they offer added benefits such as storage, comfortability, and additional seating. However, this has come at the expense of the environment, as this shift has also increased oil usage and, thus, carbon emissions. SUV sales peaked in 2019 with 834,600 sales, nearly double the amount only five years prior in 2014. Since then, sales have declined moderately to around 600,000 and are expected to stay around that range through 2028.

As SUVs contribute greatly towards the rise in greenhouse gas emissions, the main driver behind these parking price surges is preserving the environment. Supporters of the law hope that unaffordability will lead to a shift back to regular-sized passenger cars. Out of all passenger cars, SUVs emit the 2nd highest rate of pollution. SUVs emit almost double the amount of carbon emissions compared to small cars, so if this parking tariff is successful, it would make a significant difference in environmental conservation.

Paris isn’t the only city taking this approach; other cities in France, such as Lyon, Grenoble, and Bordeaux, have implemented similar legislation. Tübingen, Germany, has also implemented various taxes to encourage people to shift towards public transportation. Citizens with electric cars greater than 2 kilograms or non-electric vehicles weighing more than 1.8 kilograms must pay a tax of 180 euros per year, while smaller cars are only taxed 120 euros. Additionally, certain exceptions will be made for individuals on social security and with disabilities who rely on their vehicles. Seeing these implementations in France and Germany is very influential to other countries around the world. Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, are also considering taxing American-style pickup trucks and large SUVs.

These global shifts away from SUVs could harm the American automotive industry. In 2023, Jeep and Ford, two of France's most popular American car brands, made over 650 million dollars of revenue from French consumers. If parking prices continue to rise and supporters of the legislative changes are successful in decreasing SUV use, Ford will be negatively impacted the most; they generated over 1.5 billion dollars from SUV sales in Germany and 2 billion dollars from sales in Australia. On the other hand, this shift could benefit top performing electric car companies in France, such as Renault, Peugeot, and Tesla.

It will take time before we see significant gains and losses for automotive companies due to the actions being taken to preserve our environment; however, it is something to keep in mind in the coming years. 

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