What happened

Shares of Workhorse Group (WKHS 0.59%) continued their surge on Thursday. The company's stock has benefited from intense investor interest in electric vehicles and growing awareness of the potential of its battery-electric delivery vans.

As of 2:30 p.m. EDT, Workhorse's shares were up about 4.7% from Wednesday's closing price.

So what

There was no major news driving Workhorse's price gain on Thursday. The lift appears to be driven by investor excitement around the potential of electric commercial vehicles generally and the potential of Workhorse's new C-Series delivery vans.

The C-Series is a so-called "last mile" vehicle, optimized for deliveries to final recipients. It's the kind of vehicle that might be of interest to a company like United Parcel Service (UPS -0.20%), which partnered with Workhorse on the design and has already ordered over 1,000 of the trucks.

A red Workhorse C-650 delivery van.

Workhorse's C-Series electric vans are optimized for package-delivery duty. Image source: Workhorse Group.

Other package-delivery companies, including FedEx and DHL, are believed to be kicking the C-Series' tires. But there may be a much bigger opportunity ahead: The United States Postal Service will soon take proposals for electric mail-delivery vehicles, and Workhorse hopes to win that business, which could be substantial.

U.S. government authorities approved the C-Series for sale last month; Workhorse plans to make 300 to 400 of them by the end of the year and to ramp up production further in 2021.

Now what

Workhorse has been a public company for several years, but it hadn't drawn much investor attention until recently -- and lately, it has drawn a lot of attention.

Given the stock's dramatic run since the beginning of April, it's safe to say that there will be a large number of auto investors watching closely when the company reports its second-quarter earnings next month.