An NEV is also an extremely good design choice for a prototype vehicle - I wasn't aware that Google had taken advantage of this. We're all clear that neighborhoods, residential streets, etc. are the most difficult for an autonomous vehicle to navigate. Testing in a vehicle that is MANDATED to travel slowly is an intelligent engineering approach.
If you don't like the idea of a slow vehicle, then argue with the lawmakers, don't blame the smart engineers.
It's also a very handy law if you want to take your recliner to work with you. Because the maximum speed is 25mph, the requirements (safety, lighting, etc.) for building such a vehicle are minimal.