eclecticflower wrote: My commute is ~8 miles one way (~17 RT), nearly all highway, one minor elevation change (uphill sloping bridge over the Missouri river).... On this short drive, should I worry about range on the home trip in snowy weather? I should have ~8 battery bars, but with limited BEV experience and my first winter, I'm a little concerned.
There isn't any situation that you won't be able to drive 17 miles in the next many, many years. I wouldn't even think about it; just preheat for comfort (not to save power, since you'll have plenty).
I agree with Tony, your commute seems easy even in winter conditions. I think that you will be pleased when you try preheating your LEAF: getting into an already warm car in winter is very pleasant. When at work you can just use Carwings to tell the car when to start preheating or you can set the Climate Control timer to come on at a certain time. You will need to experiment with how long it needs to run; no sense in preheating longer than needed. In moderate cold five to ten minutes ought to be plenty. If the car has been sitting in single digits fifteen minutes might be needed. You will learn what it takes. While at home try preheating while still plugged-in before leaving, using the CC timer.
The LEAF handles in snow quite well, having front wheel drive and a low center of gravity. However, the stock LRR tires are not snow tires, although they did pretty well for me. If you need to drive in snow regularly I'd suggest buying an extra set of rims and snow tires. If you drive in snow infrequently you might get by with cable chains, although they are a nuisance. I don't really have a feel for how often roads in KC are snowpacked. Here in sunny Colorado they get plowed and sanded so quickly that my only problem is getting up my long steep driveway; shoveling 400 feet of gravel driveway takes time.
The LEAF is just about ideal for a short commute like yours.