Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV) set another record for deliveries in January, a strong result following the launch of rival Tesla's locally made Model Y SUV. 

Xpeng said that it delivered 6,015 of its upscale electric vehicles to Chinese customers in January, its third consecutive month of record sales, a nearly fivefold increase from January 2020, and the seventh straight month in which Xpeng more than doubled its year-ago sales.

Xpeng's P7 model has been the driver of much of that growth. Launched in late June 2020, the stylish sedan has notched steadily increasing sales, helped by Xpeng's ongoing efforts to upgrade and refine it.

A red Xpeng P7 electric sedan and a blue Xpeng G3 electric SUV, parked near charging stations.

Xpeng delivered 3,710 P7 sedans and 2,305 G3 SUVs in January. Image source: Xpeng.

News of the latest sales record capped a strong beginning to 2021 for the company. Xpeng announced in early January that it had formed a strategic partnership with lidar maker Livox, and that it will incorporate that company's sensors in its production models soon -- making it the first automaker to ship vehicles equipped with lidar.

Lidar -- which stands for "light detection and ranging" -- can measure the distance to objects with high accuracy, and thus can be used to help advanced driver-assist systems make detailed maps of a vehicle's surroundings. Those images can be compared moment-by-moment to a 3-D map, helping to ensure that the system knows the vehicle's precise location. 

Xpeng also secured a new $2 billion line of credit in mid-January, and last week released a major over-the-air software update for P7 owners that includes a new hands-free highway-driving system. 

The company is expected to report its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 earnings later this month. 

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