I'm similar to you as far as commuting. I'm a data guy and #'s are my life. I tracked my power output with multiple power meters, heart rate, and speed/distance via multiple GPS apps over the past couple of years. I've had to force myself to back off and not be obsessed lol. I only mention the data stuff, in reference to knowing exactly what I was looking for/needed. But anyways, I recently moved to North Austin and my new commute is easily over 40 miles a day, the short way (still testing routes for efficiency and safety).
Even though I'm a high power rider that does many 50+ mile solo rides on a road bike at 22-23 MPH ave, riding on a heavy commuter, carrying clothes, food, and laptop through the city was pretty rough. I was pulling 15-16mph ave speeds suddenly, and taking over 1.5 hrs each way, with stoplights and signs. This wasn't sustainable... 3 hrs daily on my bike and a full day of work, with kids at home wanting to see me.
A few weeks ago I picked up the Focus Impulse S10, as it seemed to be one of the few bikes that had the range (mid drive efficiency), with the power to do 28mph, and good dependability ratings, though mostly foreign reviews I had to translate.
The result? Well, last week I commuted 4 days and WFH the other. I commuted, with all my gear in a saddle bag:
173.7miles with 6,444ft of climbing in 7hrs 51mins (22.13mph ave speed)
This week will be around the same distance, once I commute home (at work now), but so far:
151.4miles with 5,676ft of climbing in 6hrs 46mins (22.36mph ave speed)
This morning I had a 15mph+ headwind, ran it at max assist and did a 20.8mile route with a 21mph ave speed and 4 miles remaining on the estimated range. If I back off the assist level, the range jumps a good amount, but I'm pretty tough on this thing, and it's taking it.
With the bike at 400 miles on it now (<2.5 weeks old), the only problem I had was a flat tire I swapped (quick release). The bike has been GREAT.
I still get a great workout for the 1 hour each way. I suppose I could just light pedal and still average 18+ mph, but I'd prefer to get the workout and faster commute. I compared all the pros and cons with mid-drive vs. hub both geared and gearless, and learned my own additional pros and cons after testing. I still stand by a mid-drive as the best option for me, and probably the majority of people out there.
It holds 28mph on flats (/w ~200W from me), and 26-28 on <3% hills (/w ~400W+ from me). I usually get it up to ~35mph (no motor assist) on a couple of downhill spots, that going the other way, have me doing 21-24mph with a decent effort (also, I'm 205lbs).