Night shots of the Peugeot diesel hybrid on the road outside Paris

Night shots of the Peugeot diesel hybrid on the road outside Paris

Fritz Henderson, one time boss of General Motors, once opined that making petrol hybrid cars is expensive squared – but making diesel hybrids is expensive cubed.

What Henderson meant was that diesel engines combined with an electric motor were just not worth the hassle to build.

They were too expensive and the exorbitant costs couldn’t justify the potential fuel efficiencies.

Nevertheless, Peugeot begged to differ and came up with the 3008 Hybrid4 last year, which I shot ahead of the Paris motor show 2011.

To be honest (and this is not just because Peugeot paid me to shoot it!) I was pretty impressed with the car.

It’s the first European hybrid using a standard 2L turbo diesel attached to a robotised manual sixspeed transmission driving the front wheels. I’m a sucker for new technology, combined with slick engineering. Above all, it goes 75 mpg, so it has my vote for fuel efficiency.

Anyway, I was hired by ad agency BD Network to shoot the car on a road about 50 miles outside Paris. We picked the location because there was a town nearby and I liked the background glow from the cityscape. We started at 11.30 at night.

To help us with the shoot, the local gendarmerie kindly closed the road for us. I wanted to give the car a sense of speed – although it was static on the road – so to get the effect I wanted I exposed the road for about 5 minutes. The long trails were done by sweeping tracking lights and the car was lit with Kinoflos and flash.

It was the world’s first production of a hybrid diesel and the brief was to convey a sense of electricity, freshness, coolness. So the trailing lights were to give that sense of electric.

Peugeot loved it and so did the art director who then commissioned more work.

So that made me happy.

Actually, I googled the Peugeot diesel hybrid when writing this and my pic is still there at the top of the first page on Google. Now that makes me even happier.

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