Don't be putting down good technology just because the greentards like it. I drive a 2001 Prius. Not because I think it will save the earth but because at 55 mpg it saves me $$. Hell, I even got 52 mpg while hauling 800 lbs of coal in it
The hybrid idea works. I wouldn't pay the price they were asking for it when it first came out, but the price has come down to where they're not all that much more than a regular car. A used one can be a pretty good deal. I got mine a bit over a year ago, with 112K on it, for under 5K.
A pure electric still has problems as far as range, and as Fred pointed out heat in the winter, but for somebody whos commute is within the limits of their range they can be a good deal. A car the size of my Prius uses about 12 hp to maintain 60 mph. That's about 9 KW or 150 watt hours per mile. So that example someone gave of using 2,500 kWh to go 10,000 miles was perfectly reasonable. That's 250 watt hours per mile. And most parts of the country you can still get off peak power for less than $.10 per kWh.
As for bringing the power grid down, let's consider someone doing a 30 mile round trip commute. At 200 watt hours per mile it would use 200*30=6000 watt hours or 6 kWh. An electric space heater that you plug into a wall outlet draws 1500 watts. The same 1500 watts could be used to recharge the battery in about 4 hours. Hardly the kind of load that will bring down the grid. And I'll let you figure the cost of 6 kWh for your area, but I'm quite sure it will be a lot less than the gallon of gas most cars would use for 30 miles.
I think the Chevy volt is a much better idea than a pure electric, or the Prius for that matter. You can go about 40 miles in electric mode using grid power stored in batteries, and then use its gasoline engine to extend its range as far as you like. Big problems I see with it are that they are asking about 70% more than what it is worth. I know they need to pay of the engineering, but that isn't going to happen if they charge so much that they don't sell. Other problem is that after the batteries are drained it only gets 37-40 mpg. There's no reason it couldn't get half again as many mpg. There have been a lot of advances made since my Prius was made in 2001. But every time they have re-designed it they have made it bigger and more powerful while getting the same mpg rather than the same size and getting more mpg.
As far as where the power come from, I really don't care. Coal is currently the primary source of electric power and I'm good with that. I'm ok with nuclear if the cost is kept in line. Hydro is good and is where most of the local power where I live comes from. A good thing about electrics is they aren't tied to any one energy source. There are plenty of ways to make electricity, so you will always have power for your car. As for all the losses in the grid getting the power to me,... Not my problem. I just pay for what gets to me.
Enough rambling for now