The go-cart like vehicle he built is called the "Electric Sprint Car" which he built in a rented garage and drove around town daily. Pearson was able to obtain a serial number for the car and have it licensed by the DMV as a special vehicle. The car uses six 12 volt batteries and has a top speed of about 50 mph.
Where it gets a little dicey is whether Pearson was also building these cars for sale. The police set up a sting operation and he was busted for manufacturing vehicles without a license and failure to obtain a business permit. You see Pearson had a website advertising his work and took money from an undercover officer in exchange for agreeing to convert a gas car to an electric one.
Pearson doesn't really feel he was doing anything wrong. After all he was only trying to help get this country off of oil, whats so bad about that?
Source (Santa Monica Mirror)