During my usual evening commute, as I crawl slowly northward on the DC Beltway from Virginia to Maryland, there are certain cars that I notice on a regular basis. The vast majority have Maryland plates. This is one of them.

Best I can tell, this particular ActiveHybrid 7 is a pre-LCI, because when I’ve seen it in my mirrors, its halo lights are the old yellow halogen bulbs, and the F01 generation 7 series received full LED headlamps including the halos in the 2013 model year facelift. I also believe this is a short wheelbase 7-series, and the ActiveHybrid became long wheelbase-only after the LCI.

Assuming that’s the case, this is basically a mild hybrid 750i with a 20 hp electric motor in the transmission. What about DEM MPGS THO?

Well, ok, so basically you’re getting the mileage of the 740i with a small power bump over the 750i that’s also about 220 lbs heavier than the 750i.

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Alas, that’s not the reason to buy a BMW ActiveHybrid 7. See that sticker of some sort next to the license plate?

It’s blurry in this pic, but the placement leads me to believe it’s an HOV lane permit. This is what the plug-in version of the sticker looks like (I couldn’t find a regular hybrid version on google image search):

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While Virginia has moved away from pure HOV lanes and instead now builds express lanes with tolls to access them, and certain highways at certain times are now all express lanes, Maryland has persisted in keeping HOV lanes for carpoolers and/or supposedly-environmentally-friendly vehicles.

Which means, in Maryland, and anywhere else that has similar HOV lane rules, one does not simply buy a car like the ActiveHybrid 7 for the near-negligible mileage benefit, but rather to get in the HOV lane and turn one’s nose up at the proles stuck in the regular lanes.

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