That's slower than a Usain Bolt jog.
To improve air quality in cities, many countries are banning the sale of new combustion cars within the next few years. Norway will be the first in 2025, followed by the UK in 2030. Many automakers like Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes, and Volvo are also becoming electric-only brands within the next five to ten years.
However, these changes are still several years away, and charging infrastructures need to expand significantly to make EVs more accessible and eliminate range anxiety. Paris, on the other hand, is acting now with a drastic new law that aims to cut carbon emissions.
As of this week, the speed limit on Paris city streets has been reduced from 50 kph (31 mph) to 30 kph - that's just 19 mph. This is less than a sprinting pace for an athlete: Usain Bolt can hit a top speed of around 27 mph.
While the move will encourage more people to walk, cycle, or use public transport, the city's deputy mayor, David Belliard, insists this is "not an anti-car measure." Bellard also says he wants to limit vehicles to "essential travel." It's hoped that restricting the speed limit to 19 mph will improve the city's air quality and reduce the number of accidents.
The 30 kph speed limit already applied to around 60% of Paris but will now cover most of the city, so we'll probably see fewer Bugatti Chiron hypercars cruising the streets of Paris now. However, a few areas such as the Champs Elysees will still have a 50 kph speed limit. These strict speed limits aren't restricted to Paris either, as the German government is also considering imposing speed limits on the autobahn.
The lower speed limit comes after older diesel cars were recently banned in Paris, more bike lanes were added, and parking spaces were reduced in the city to reduce the amount of traffic clogging the streets. France also plans to ban the sale of new combustion-powered cars by 2040.