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Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV. Photo: GM

The hottest-selling electric vehicle on the planet isn't the Tesla Model 3 anymore. It was toppled in January by a pint-sized Chinese model called the Hong Guang Mini EV, reports China Daily.

Details: The four-seat city cars are flying out of showrooms thanks mostly to their irresistible starting price: $4,500, writes China auto expert Michael Dunne, CEO of the advisory firm ZoZoGo.

  • Customers have purchased 200,000 Hong Guang Mini EVs since production began last summer.

The success has surprised even its manufacturer, SGMW, a joint venture between General Motors, Shanghai Automotive Industry, and Wuling Motors.

  • They had anticipated selling about 3,000 a month, but in January sales topped 36,000.
  • It's tight for four, and clearly lags Tesla on battery range (105 miles) and performance (top speed is 62 mph). But its convenience and low price are appealing to Chinese consumers.
  • Buyers are mostly younger women in smaller cities, and the company is now marketing them not as cars, but more like designer clothing, a Wuling executive tells China Daily.
  • It has introduced fun new colors and also plans plans to unveil co-branded vehicles with big names like Disney and Nike.

Go deeper

7 mins ago - World

Trudeau's government projected to win Canada election

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government has been reelected in the national election, the CBC and CTV News projected on Monday night.

Yes, but: "It's still too early to say whether it will be a minority or majority government," the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

Pelosi's back-to-school math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) may need votes from an unlikely source — the Republican Party — if she hopes to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by next Monday, as she's promised Democratic centrists.

Why it matters: With at least 20 progressives threatening to vote against the $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill, centrist members are banking on more than 10 Republicans to approve the bill.

By the numbers: Haitian emigration

Expand chart
Data: CBP; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The number of Haitians crossing the U.S.-Mexico border had been rising even before their country's president was assassinated in July and the island was struck by an earthquake a month later.

Why it matters: A spike during the past few weeks — leaving thousands waiting in a makeshift camp under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas — has prompted a crackdown and deportations by the Biden administration.