If that's true then wouldn't it take less than 3.5 kWh of pack energy to deliver 3.5 kWh of heat?
Well I believe the data for how much power it takes to heat the car and battery comes from actual owners' experience. Given that, whatever the method is of delivering the heat, the amount needed seem to be in the range of 6-7 kW. My understanding is that they use a heat pump, but that only works if they've got heat to pump. I believe they use the drive train waste heat as the source, but I've not heard that they try to use sub-freezing ambient air and am a bit doubtful that would work very well.
Heat pump efficiency approaches 1 at 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C). I also remember reading that they do use coolant from the drive-train as a heat source (similar to how an ICE does it).
I think we have to keep in mind the Model S is heating both the cabin and the battery pack, whereas EVs like the 2012 Leaf is heating only the cabin.
Because there are tons of crazy people in this world...
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