This little-known electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer is hardly a household name in Australia, but plenty of our traders are driving its bumper success.

Nio’s popularity with Aussie traders increased sixfold last month, making it the most-traded stock in July, according to data supplied by trade platform eToro.

For those who got in early, it has so far proven profitable, as its share price has quintupled since May and doubled over the last five weeks.

“With a 505% increase in trading activity, many investors are looking towards Nio Inc. as an alternative to Tesla,” eToro analyst Josh Gilbert said.

“When Tesla was first listed on the US Stock Exchange back in 2010, its share price was just $19.20. Since then, we’ve seen over a 7000% increase.”

Certainly, what they seem to share in common is the fact that the coronavirus crisis has proven no obstacle to their meteoric rise.

Just weeks ago, Elon Musk’s EV company became the most valuable automaker in the world, overtaking Japanese powerhouse Toyota.

It’s been enough to encourage Australian investors to keep throwing money at it, seeing the second most growth in popularity during July.

Meanwhile, as Tesla’s cup spilleth over, smaller companies like Nio are soaking up some of the limelight and the investment.

“Many investors feel they may have missed the boat on Tesla but are interested to invest in the electric automotive industry and Nio Inc. could be a great alternative,” Gilbert said.

The Shanghai-based, Nasdaq-listed specialises in electric autonomous vehicles, an area Musk and others are set to compete in as they race to develop the technology to make it a reality.

While Tesla is roughly 34 times larger than Nio, some investors hope it proves to be a serious contender in years to come.

“We expect that many investors will be looking at Nio Inc’s current price of $13.60 as an attractive level to enter the market at.

“Strong production numbers from Nio Inc. showed an increase of 322% from the same month last year, which comes after a challenging year for automakers.”

It’s clear Nio is riding the wave right now, at the same time money floods into tech and growth stocks, and amateur investors throw caution to the wind.

With analysts, and even Musk himself, a little perplexed at Tesla’s seemingly indefatigable surge, how long it all lasts is another matter altogether.

Disclaimer: This article contains general information only and is not intended to be used as personal advice.

This article first appeared on Business Insider Australia, Australia’s most popular business news website. Read the original article. Follow Business Insider on Facebook or Twitter.