Chevy Bolt gets rolling in pre-production video

Thunder stolen?

While it may seem the last thing Chevy would want to do is turn any news about the upcoming Bolt EV into news about the Tesla Model 3, the timing here is just too good. As hype surrounding the California-based automaker's $35,000 EV comes to a crescendo as its big reveal approaches, Chevrolet drops this video of the pre-production Bolt being built at GM's Orion Assembly plant outside of Detroit, Michigan. It's the same factory that will reportedly produce the Opel-badged version of the EV, called the Ampera-e.

"We're at another critical and important point in the development of the Bolt EV," says Josh Tavel, Bolt EV Chief Engineer. "We've moved from working in math and building cars by hand to building Bolt EVs on the line. We're now testing the tooling used in the plant so that we deliver the high quality 200-plus-mile EV that our customers are eagerly anticipating."

It'll be interesting to see the sort of David and Goliath matchup between GM and Tesla unfold, especially considering either carmaker could claim either role depending on the way you view them. One is a longstanding American automaker with deep Midwestern roots and branches that have extended oversees for a long time. The other is a relatively new upstart that, despite trouble gaining a foothold in states with franchise-friendly dealership policies, has positioned itself as an innovator that doesn't need to play by other people's rules. GM has experience selling all sorts of vehicles all over the world. Tesla has basically mastered the art of Tesla, pouring itself into a specific niche and building from there.

Either way, with this video, Chevy is reminding us that we'll be seeing the Bolt on the road before Tesla can get its Model 3 delivered to customers. And depending on where you live, you just may see one of these pre-production videos pull up alongside you sooner than you'd expect.

Related Video:

Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept | 2015 NAIAS

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