Few people went to the polls in Paris on Sunday (just 5.7% of voters), but their vote was enough to make a difference. More than half the people (54.5%) voted in favour of a significant increase in the price of parking passes for cars weighing more than 1.6 tonnes from outside the city.
As a result, parking charges for certain SUVs in Paris will triple, to €18 (approx. £15) per hour. Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo's aim is to make Paris greener and more welcoming to cyclists and pedestrians in the run-up to this year's Olympic Games.
Who should pay more?
The rate increase will apply to all cars over 1.6 tonnes, even electric cars weighing 2 tonnes or more.
The only exceptions are drivers who have a special permit issued by the local authority (e.g. residents or people doing business in the city centre).
The Mercedes GLE Coupé weighs more than 2,300 kg on paper
Best-selling versions of the Tesla Model Y weigh less than 2,000 kg
BMW X5 and X6 are two other models penalised in Paris
How much will SUVs pay in Paris?
Are you "for or against the creation of a specific rate for parking heavy, cumbersome and polluting cars"? Parisians answered in the affirmative, which is why the cost of parking SUVs in the centre of Paris will rise from €6 to €18 per hour for the first two hours.
A six-hour stopover with an SUV will cost €225 (£190), compared with €75 (£65) for other cars.
For and against
The news quickly made the rounds on the web, as it provoked a great deal of debate, particularly in Paris, where the mayor declared: "We are proud to have asked an eminently environmental question at a time when the environment is presented as the source of all evils".
The association "40 millions d'automobilistes" has launched a petition in support of motorists' freedom to use the vehicle of their choice, and has promised to fight. "We must firmly oppose these attacks on freedom under false ecological pretences".