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I don't recall my engine ever starting up at a traffic light to provide power for the A/C, or for any other reason, so whatever buffer they have for that seems to last through traffic lights, at least in my experience.
In frigid temps if I've just recently run out battery and the ICE has not yet warmed up enough to provide waste heat for the cabin, it can be drawing 8 kW for heat at a stoplight. Once or twice at this stupidly long stoplight along my commute the ICE had to kick in. But that's been very rare.
 
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