Paris, France, wants you to leave your SUV at the city limits. Drive an older Mercedes diesel, or something else that belches particulates and sucks down gas like Lyndsay Lohan sucks down martinis? Paris wants you to leave that outside of the city as well. In fact, if what you drive isn’t compact and fuel efficient, don’t plan on visiting Paris behind the wheel after next year. The city is in the process of restricting “gas guzzling” vehicles, although they have yet to precisely define what fuel economy will be needed to make a vehicle exempt. The ban would limit access to congested areas of the city during certain times of day or certain times of the year, unless drivers were behind the wheel of a “green” vehicle. Paris isn’t the first city across the pond to institute such a ban, as London and Berlin already have gass-guzzler restrictions in place.
This does, of course, raise the question of “how soon before L.A. or San Francisco implements a similar ban?” I don’t see this starting in the U.S. anywhere other than California, but I think it’s just a matter of time before CARB embraces this concept. What would you do if your city implemented a “35 MPG or higher” fuel economy requirement. Downsize? Move? Take up pitchforks and torches? Let us know.