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Chevy's Bolt electric car is gearing up for production

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General Motors

Chevy just released a few images and a quick teaser video of its Bolt EV going through pre-production on its Michigan assembly line, one of the final steps before actual production. The Bolt is expected to be in at least some dealerships by the end of this year, promising a reasonably practical 200-mile electric range and a price around $30,000 after credits.

The timing of GM's tease likely isn't a coincidence: the car will do battle in the marketplace with Tesla's similarly priced Model 3, Elon Musk's first mass-market car. GM will have a substantial timing advantage — the 3 isn't expected to start shipping until late 2017 — but Tesla has a lot more hype to its name than GM does, and it'll begin taking $1,000 reservations next Thursday, March 31st. Locking up customers early could freeze out some Bolt sales later this year.