Investors have been excited about electric vehicles for a long time, as the success of Tesla (TSLA 0.79%) can attest. Ever since Tesla's stratospheric rise, car enthusiasts and investors alike have hoped to find other companies that could give the Elon Musk-led EV pioneer a run for its money. Now, that stock appears to be here -- even though it eluded most U.S. investors for years. We'll talk about that stock more below and why it's doing so well on Thursday.

Thursday morning market update

The stock market was mixed on Thursday, with market participants trying to sort through conflicting trends. On one hand, many on Wall Street believe that the 2020 elections couldn't have gone better, with the likelihood of divided government continuing in Washington. Yet a big rise in COVID-19 case counts points to the possibility of renewed efforts to stem the spread of the disease, including potential lockdowns and other restraints on economic activity.

Just before 11:30 a.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.04%) was down 124 points to 29,274. The S&P 500 (^GSPC -0.16%) lost 11 points to 3,561, but the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC -0.18%) managed to post a 4-point rise to 11,790.

View of car dashboard on a road, with light traffic ahead and a rising or setting sun.

Image source: Getty Images.

A Chinese EV upstart is paying off today

Standing out among stock market winners on Thursday morning was Chinese electric vehicle company XPeng (XPEV 3.34%). The stock jumped 23%, hitting another new high for the newly public company also known as Xiaopeng Motors or XMotors.

The news that boosted XPeng's share price today was the automaker's third-quarter financial report. In the quarter, XPeng delivered 8,578 vehicles, almost quadrupling from year-ago levels and up by 166% just in the past three months. A huge part of those gains came from the newly released P7 sedan, which was responsible for 6,210 of those unit sales.

The rise in vehicle deliveries also sent XPeng's revenue skyward. Sales in dollar terms more than quadrupled year over year.

Moreover, XPeng sees the good times continuing through the end of the year. It sees revenue more than tripling in the fourth quarter, and it hopes to deliver roughly 10,000 vehicles, keeping up its recent pace and cashing in on its newfound popularity.

Why XPeng is new to U.S. investors

Ordinary investors in the U.S. only got their chance to invest in XPeng back in August, when the company first went public on the New York Stock Exchange. Originally slated to price between $11 and $13 per share, IPO participants ended up paying $15 per share for about 100 million shares in the offering. The stock quickly jumped on its first trading day, closing above $21.

Yet from there, the stock languished for a while. It was only at the beginning of November that XPeng started to rise significantly again.

XPeng offers a sedan and a crossover vehicle, with an eye toward matching Tesla on two of its most popular models. However, XPeng's strategy is aimed more to reflect preferences of luxury buyers in China, who on the whole prefer features emphasizing comfort rather than high performance. XPeng also features some autonomous driving features in its vehicles.

XPeng's pace of deliveries is somewhat slower than Chinese rival NIO (NIO -0.69%), but it's working hard to catch up. Given the size of China's potential market for electric vehicles, there should be more than enough room for XPeng to claim its share of the pie -- with hopes to beat Tesla and other automaker competitors along the way.