Elon Musk has always been a mesmerizing guy.
The man from South Africa has taken high-tech innovation to new levels with PayPal, all-electric Tesla cars and SpaceX rockets that are shaking up the cozy world of heavy-lift space technology from such defense industry stalwarts as Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
The latest Musk move has been to push a new lithium ion battery that one day could allow homeowners to store enough solar power to go off the traditional utility grid or switch off and save for another time.
Based on the batteries used in the high-end Tesla cars, the smaller batteries, called Powerwalls, are being sold in some big box stores for about $3,500 and allow some storage for home rooftop star panels.
A couple of weeks ago, Musk, who is said to be the model for the hero of the “Ironman” film series, introduced something much bigger -- the Powerpack battery.
Musk claims that it can store enough solar power for individual homes that 160 million of them could eliminate the need for all fossil-fuel power in the United States. (Is Dominion paying attention?)
Of course, as with many things in Musk-world, we aren't quite there yet. True and reliable Powerpack use is some years away. But who knows? No one thought there would be a real electric car. And Musk, who badly wants to go to Mars, is close to developing a reusable rocket for Outer Space travel.
To hear from Musk himself, listen in on his interview on my friend Roben Farzad’s Richmond-based radio show, “Full Disclosure.”