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Shares of Chinese Electric Vehicle Startup Xpeng Motors Soar 54% After its U.S. IPO

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【Summary】​Chinese electric vehicle startup Xpeng Motors launched its U.S. IPO on Friday, becoming the third Chinese EV startup to turn to the U.S. stock market to raise capital. Thursday Xpeng's shares soared 54%. The shares are trading on the NYSE under the stock symbol "XPEV."

Eric Walz    Aug 27, 2020 12:15 PM PT
Shares of Chinese Electric Vehicle Startup Xpeng Motors Soar 54% After its U.S. IPO
An Xpeng Motors P7 sedan outside the New York Stock Exchange ahead of the company's IPO on Aug 27, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Chinese electric vehicle startup Xpeng Motors launched its U.S. IPO on Friday, becoming the third Chinese EV startup to turn to the U.S. stock market to raise capital.

Shares of Xpeng opened at $23.10 per American Depositary Share (ADS), up from the raised offer price of $15 per ADS. The shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). On Thursday Xpeng's shares soared 54%. The shares are trading under the stock symbol "XPEV."

Xpeng originally priced its shares between $11-$13, but raised the price to $15 on strong interest from investors. Xpeng had initially planned to raise $1.11 billion, but raised the amount to $1.5 billion this week.

By listing its shares on the NYSE, Xpeng is hoping to cash in on the current investor trend of pouring money in new electric vehicle startups. Shares of Tesla are record highs, which indicates the strong investor interest in electric vehicle startups. Tesla is now the world's most valuable automaker.

Xpeng, which was founded in 2014, is viewed as a popular alternative to Tesla in China. Xpeng's second electric model is the P7 smart sedan, which followed the G3 compact SUV. The new P7 went on sale in April. The P7 comes loaded with advanced technology, including self-parking. It's billed as a lower priced alternative to the Tesla Model S in China.

In Xpeng's home market of China, the P7 costs less than half the price of a Model S. Xpeng says it's offering the same level of technology, connectivity features and performance in the P7 for around $50,000 less than Tesla's flagship sedan.  

Xpeng's P7 also achieves an NEDC Range of 439 Miles, the longest of all EVs sold in China. The car features an all-wheel-drive setup with dual electric motors.

Government support for new energy vehicles (NEVs) in China, which have been extended through 2022, has led to a new crop of NEV startups emerging over the past several years to challenge segment leader Tesla. Others include U.S. listed companies NIO and newcomer Li Auto, which just raised $1.47 billion in its own U.S. IPO last month.

Xpeng Motors, founded in 2014, has raised significant new funding since late last year leading up to its debut on Wall Street Thursday. The company is often called the "Tesla of China." Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is among its backers. 

The growing EV startup secured $400 million in Series C capital funding in Nov. 2019. In early July, Xpeng secured an additional $500 million in new funding, then followed that up a few weeks later with an additional $300 million round, equaling $1.2 billion raised in less than a year. 

Xpeng becomes the latest Chinese electric vehicle maker to launch an IPO in the U.S. to raise new capital to challenge Tesla in their home market, following its rival NIO, which raised over $1 billion in its IPO on Sept, 12, 2018

NIO is one of Xpeng's biggest competitors in China. Shares of NIO have risen sevenfold this year, which indicates strong interest from investors in electric car companies. 

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