During the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo, someone joked to me that the Lola EV, a flashy electric kit car, was the "poor man's Tesla." Paul Pearson, the man behind the project, said, "That's a compliment," but there's really no comparison between the two other than that they're two-seat sports cars that run on batteries. The Lola EV has a 70-75 mph top speed and Pearson called it a very Southern California type of car. There are no opening doors, for example, and there's no roof (so, it may look like a convertible, but it's not).
Steve Graber of Graber Cars in Phoenix, Arizona designed the Lola EV and Pearson applied his EV knowledge to the project. Two years ago, at the Alt Car Expo, Pearson was displaying his street racer (and you can see the story of getting in touch with Zap that he describes in our talk in this old comments thread). For the new Lola, Pearson can deliver the car to a builder as everything from a body with a set of plans to an almost finished car, starting at $45,000. The big caveat: the Lola-EV's price does not include the batteries. Since Electric Custom Cars is not a licensed automaker, they can't deliver the complete vehicle to buyers. One cool part of the design is that the design calles for the batteries to sit where the doors would be, a placement that Pearson told us improved safety.
See more over at Electric Custom Cars and listen here (7 min):