Purchasing larger-than-average cars has been gaining on popularity for many years in Europe. They often exceed parking spaces in cities, but they also use a lot more fuel. A recent study found that around half of new cars in Europe are too wide for standard parking spaces in cities, with their average width increasing by one centimetre every two years. The current average car width is 180.3 cm, while five years ago it was 177.8 cm.
Among the 100 most popular car models in Europe, 52 are too wide for typical 180cm-wide- seats. According to the European Federation for Transport and Environment, this trend, especially the growth in the number of large SUVs that are 200cm each, causes problems such as the lack of space for safe entry and exit.
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Paris saw an increase in the popularity of larger vehicles, as did other European cities in the last decade. Besides taking up more space in the city, the size and weight of these vehicles is associated with a greater risk for pedestrians and a greater consumption of fossil fuels.
As we wrote before, precisely because of this, Paris will hold a referendum in a few days, which will allow citizens to express their opinion on new measures aimed at SUVs and 4×4 vehicles. This follows an earlier referendum on self-service electric scooters, which were ultimately banned in the city after 89 percent of the 103,084 citizens who voted supported their abolition.
The current focus is on large vehicles and the question of whether they should pay more for parking to free up space for more economical vehicles. The proposal includes increasing parking fees for SUVs and 4×4 vehicles, which are typically around 200kg heavier, 25cm longer and 10cm wider than standard cars.
The phenomenon also leads to more pollution, which is why Parisians will face a topic that directly affects the appearance and ecology of their city.