Thanks for your post. When my wife and I decided to try out this "new" EV thing, we both had range anxiety, her much more so than me. Her only requirement for an EV was that it had an ICE backup. I'm a BMW person anyway so that kinda narrowed it down.
I did look at a Leaf but Nissan didn't support them financially like BMW did the I3. I could lease an i3 for the same price as a Leaf lease. Plus it didn't have a REx. No brainer. Like most people we soon realized we didn't need the REx and since ours is a '17 we have ~100 miles real life range on battery. Sufficient for us around town.
So, now my lease will be up in a few months and we have made the decision not to go back to ICE. My options seem to be another i3, Bolt, or Leaf.
If BMW continues to support the i3 lease with high residuals, then it will be a strong contender. The two things I really don't like about the i3 are the narrow tires which give a poor driving experience IMO and the climate control which can only be adjusted in 2 degree increments. OTOH, I've gotten a lot of compliments on the car and it has a lot of interior room for a small car.
I'm really interested in the Bolt because it would be nice to have the extra range (we take a 90 mile RT occasionally which pushes the i3 battery range, especially in winter). Also, I assume it has wider tires. Trouble is, Bolts are few and far between in my area and dealers don't want to deal on them. So it may be another situation where I can lease an i3 for the same or less than the Bolt if BMW again subsidizes their lease rates.
Regarding the Leaf, there are a lot of negative comments on the battery life due to Nissan's policy of air cooling the battery instead of using liquid cooling. IMO, this will eventually kill the Leaf but it might not matter if I lease one for a couple of years. Again, it depends on price.
Our ultimate goal is to purchase an EV with ~400 mile range because we take a 1000 mile (one way) trip about 4 times per year. Of course the "fast" charging network will have to be built out and that's going to take awhile. So, we will probably continue to lease until the technology catches up with where we need it to be.
By the way, I'd be interested in any other comments you have on the Bolt compared to the i3. Maybe that would sway me one way or the other.