. . .
I also understand your idea that if it was standard on every car, the customer wouldn't even know he/she has just shelled out a bunch of money for something they'll never use because the doillar figure would no longer even show up on the car's sticker. Maybe if it was original equipment on every Mitsu/Nissan it would help make CHAdeMO the standard?
. . .
For me, unless there was a CHAdeMO plug hanging on a cord somewhere within the range of my car the day I bought it, the $700 was a deal breaker, plain and simple and even then if I had the option, I would have passed - I just think repeated use would shorten the battery life and how long my battery pack lasts could mean buying this car was a mistake
. . .
I think if Mitsu had put one on every car (and upped the price of the car by even a couple hundred) it would have been a monumental mistake and I think they knew it when they designed the car.
Since you have an ES, you obviously paid extra for yours - Have you ever used it?
Last things first - no, I haven't used it, and not too sure I ever will. However, Albuquerque and Santa Fe are exactly the right distance apart for CHAdeMO to be useful, and both cities are intermittently green/techie when fashionable, so it's a real possibility (and yes, I'll grant, likely more real than in south MS) - unless, of course, the American mfrs. are successful in convincing authorities to boycott CHAdeMO and limit any L3 service plazas to J-1772-CCS. I don't think that very likely in New Mexico, but we'll see. In the end, I felt I'd regret having a use for L3 and not having it, more than I would regret buying it and never using it. To each their own.
As to cost, the "couple hundred" estimate is probably closer to the truth, and in the context of these cars' cost I don't see how that's a "monumental" anything, much less a mistake. The CHAdeMO hardware would add nothing like $700 worth of cost if installed on every car - don't forget, there's no internal charger, all the power management's in the CHAdeMO station, with primitive smarts on each side coordinating the current flow the charger slams at your battery (kind of the reverse of what goes on between the internal charger and the external L1/L2 EVSE).
I certainly don't expect that bundling CHAdeMO in all Japanese EVs would make it the
U.S. standard, but it would hugely increase the odds of it being a
supported standard during the lifetime of EVs now being purchased. Given the penetration of CHAdeMO in Japan, I'm not sure how soon they'll jump on the CCS bandwagon, especially since the Americans and Europeans did not
agree on a standard plug (or to put it more charitably, agreed on two
Politics and competitive shenanigans aside, from a consumer perspective, CHAdeMO and J-1772-CCS are not like VHS and Beta (who wasted years on a mutually destructive "less than zero sum" game), because they're not opposed in the same way. CHAdeMO is what's available now, and CCS is (I think/hope) what we're going to do eventually. But I expect the Japanese to have the majority of BEVs on U.S. roads through at least 2014; if they were all CHAdeMO, that would help promote construction of L3 charging facilities, and those would in turn support CCS, building out infrastructure that would help all EVs. If most Japanese BEVs don't have CHAdeMO, this will limit the L3 build-out to the detriment of all concerned, and if that build-out's late enough, it could push CHAdeMO out of the U.S. before its time. This is why I'd encourage both Nissan and Mitsubishi to either 1)
make CHAdeMO standard (or in Nissan's case at least make it available on the SV base trim as Mitsubishi has), or 2)
stop offering CHAdeMO at all, since their lack of support makes it likely it won't be useful.
I've said it before, though perhaps not clearly enough - I absolutely agree that routine L3 charging is a bad idea, no matter what Mitsubishi says (and that does seem to vary depending on where you look for the answer). If that's the only way an EV can meet your overall transportation needs, then wait for better tech or buy something more suitable (e.g., Volt or C-MAX Energi). Given the sketchy economics, provisioning L3 power stations is a policy matter, one component of a general program of EV promotion if that's what a region wants to accomplish (as SoCal most definitely does). A sparse but well-planned network of L3 chargers could greatly increase the number of households that could get by with an EV as their only car, not because they'd facilitate longer commutes, but because they'd support infrequent day trips for which it would be impractical to arrange a rental. But to be very clear, for my own purposes, while I did want L3 capability as a CYA, I purchased my i-MiEV on the assumption that I would never charge it anywhere but my garage.