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Paris bans even-numbered license plates from city on Monday due to smog; “virtuous” vehicles exempt

Due to a thick blanket of smog bringing inevitable comparisons to Beijing, Paris has launched alternative driving days in the city for the first time since 1997. Cars and two-wheelers with even-numbered plates are banned from entering the city and its inner suburbs from 5:30 am until midnight; should smog conditions continue, odd-numbered plates will be banned on Tuesday. Several classes of vehicles are exempt, including “virtuous” (“vertueux”) vehicles: EVs, hybrids or natural gas cars and cars with more than 3 occupants.

The movement of trucks over 3.5 tonnes is prohibited regardless of the day.

The implementation of the alternating traffic plan also includes accompanying measures to ease the burden on Parisians, including:

  • Maintaining free residential parking for Parisians

  • Free parking for banned cars which cannot move.

  • Free short term rentals and first-time car sharing.

In addition to the virtuous vehicles, those not affected by the ban are:

  • Fire and rescue vehicles, transport related to health, disabilities, drugs, and funeral transport.
  • Buses, taxis, and driving school vehicles.
  • Construction vehicles and equipment, troubleshooting, moving, cleaning, garbage trucks, money transport, newspapers, mail, tanker trucks, refrigerated trucks, etc.
  • Professional vehicles in some cases. Bus and subway drivers can use their car regardless of its license plate to get to their work, as well as sales representatives, and journalists.
  • Trucks and vans under 3.5 tonnes.
  • Vehicles registered abroad.



That's the type of restriction large cities like Paris, Singapore, Beijing, New Dheli, Kuala Lumpur, London +++ will get if they continue to use large 4-wheel and small 2-wheel polluting liquid fuel guzzlers.

Electrified vehicles become a necessary solution, specially in France and other places where electricity and H2 sources are non-polluting.

The transition to cleaner vehicles should be accelerated. Could future batteries patent rights be restricted for the next 10/20 years to accelerate the mass production of 5-5-5 batteries?


If you look at the images of Paris and Bejing there is no comparison. You can see for several Km in the Paris image and about 400m in the Chinese ones.

The odd/even scheme will work well for middle class and poor people, but the rich will just buy a second car so they can always drive.

If you have a specific problem, you should be able to address it by removing the worst vehicles (or activities) from the roads.

Replacing diesel (especially old diesel) vehicles with electric / nat gas or new Euro6 diesel vehicles should be a priority.
Electric is preferable for delivery vans with fixed and known daily driving patterns. There is little point in replacing a 5 year old gasoline car with an electric, you have to get the worst and oldest things off the roads.

Luckily Paris has great public transport and people have options to car travel.

Now as long as they don't go on strike ...

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