Wait so if I understand this right, the new octovalve system allows the car to use waste heat from the battery to warm the cabin? This could be huge for efficiency in mild cold during long road trips.
Yeah it should allow them to have a more efficient heat pump because the cold side will be warmer due to heat from the battery (if it has sufficient excess heat to be scavenged).
It will definitely be a noticeable improvement in mild cold weather. Basically Bay Area and South it would be really helpful. Also coastal NW, Seattle, Portland, and BC would be very helpful. Almost always so mild and optimal for some hot heat pump action.
It's pretty versatile! The cold test results (at 20F) being much better do allow them to claim a range improvement, which is a reflection of this.
Really, there's not that much more room for improvement in efficiency now, as far as I can tell. From here it's going to be nearly all battery and energy density.