If you had that same time and $4-$5k for a used leaf and put the 24kWh into an older manual transmission car with a blown motor (free-$1k) with a dc motor ($2k) and home made controller ($600) you'd have a much faster (300hp no problem), lighter, more aerodynamic and longer range EV. You also wouldn't be driving what many believe to be a very ugly car. Downside is no HOV access. Upside in some states you might not get dinged with an extra annual EV fee.
Also all the hard work has been done and is open source online. Maybe the hardest thing you'll have to do is get a machine shop to make an adapter if no one else has done one on your donor car yet.
If you want more range you can easily add it at any time. 10 years from now I can guarantee you will be able to drop the latest battery tech into it.