In your shoes I would shoot for a 200+ range car. It would make your plan much more likely to succeed over time or even work out better. You may also want to take into account battery degradation in the non Tesla choices, in particular the 2018 LEAF
Again, good points. And I think your characterization of the 2018 Leaf as a .75 car now and .5 car later is very apt.
To be honest, I have been considering holding off on the 2018 and waiting for the 2019 to come out. The 2019 sounds like a much better, more reliable long-term car. However, while the E-Plus seems at first glance to be objectively so much better (assuming these rumors/reports are true: 225 miles of range, a liquid-cooled LG Chem battery, 100 kW fast charging speed), the more I think about it, it's not totally clear to me that these rumored improvements are worth the significant price hike. Because if you can buy a 2018 right now for around 20K after tax credits/dealer discounts, and you can buy a E-Plus this fall/winter for either high 20's or low 30's after tax credits (I'm assuming there probably won't be any dealer discounts on this car for a while, and when they do come, they certainly shouldn't be as steep as the discounts on the 2017 and 2018 ), then these are the questions I would have about the E-Plus:
1. 100 kW of charging: sounds nice, but by what year will there actually be any 100+ kW fast chargers around? 2020? 2025? On the east coast, there is one 150-350 kW DC charger in Chicopee, MA, but everything else is restricted to 50 kW. I read somewhere that the EVGo network has been pre-wired for 150 kW. But can all these stations be converted to 150 kW quickly, OTA, as a software update? Or will they instead require a technician visiting every single station? How many years will that take if it even happens? So then how valuable is 100 kW fast charging in the real world, unless the entire fast charge network is overhauled ASAP?
2. On a 250 mile road trip, how much time does 100 kW fast charging actually save you over 50 kW fast charging? 10 minutes? Less than 10 minutes? I actually find the advertised 100 kW quick charge times of the upcoming Kona EV, Niro EV, and Leaf E-Plus to be confusing. A lot of car reviews say that at 100 kW, these cars can charge up to 80% in 54 minutes. Well, no one routinely drives their EV down to true zero and then quick charges to 80%, so I'm assuming this means quick charging from either 10 or 20% up to 80%? Let's say it's 10-80%, so these cars can gain 70% charge in 54 minutes. For the Leaf E-Plus, that's 225 miles x .7 = 157.5 miles/54 minutes = 2.91666 miles per minute (on average). For the Kona EV, it's 250 miles x .7 = 175 miles/54 minutes = 3.24 miles per minute. So let's say that these new EVs can quick charge at 3 miles per minute on 100 kW chargers. Well, the Chevy Bolt can already do this, at least according to Chevy's advertised "ideal conditions": it can gain 90 miles of charge in 30 minutes (when the SOC is between 0-50%), which also comes out to 3 miles per minute. I'm assuming this is on a 50 kW charger? So how is the 100 kW charger better? There must be something wrong with my math, or I'm misunderstanding something.
3. 225 miles of range: 75 miles of extra range is great, but is it worth a 10K price hike? On a 250 mile drive, the only advantage that a 225 mile EV has over a 150 mile EV is that the 225 mile EV can do the trip in one DCQC stop (probably 20 minutes or less), while the 150 mile EV can do it in 2 DCQC stops (each lasting 20-25 minutes). So then you're paying 10K extra just so that a few times a year you save yourself 20-25 minutes during these 250 mile trips?
4. liquid-cooled LG Chem battery: this is great, I hope it's real.
5. Rapid-gate in the E-Plus?: The Chevy Bolt also has a liquid-cooled LG Chem battery, but even this car has throttled quick charging (above 50% SOC). Given Nissan's recent handling of the rapidgate issue on the 2018, how confident are we that the E-Plus (even with a liquid-cooled LG Chem battery) won't also have some ridiculous quick charge throttling issue, either on the second quick charge of the day, or above a certain battery temp, etc?
(My apologies if people feel like this thread has strayed off topic)