UPDATE 1-China's Xpeng warns of slump in vehicle deliveries after Q3 loss widens

(Adds details on outlook, CEO comment, background, share price)

Nov 30 (Reuters) - Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng on Wednesday warned that its vehicle deliveries could more than halve in the current three-month period, and reported a wider loss for the third quarter due to a rise in expenses. Electric vehicle makers like Xpeng, Nio, and Li Auto Inc have had to contend with China's zero-COVID policy in the wake of a recent surge in new cases that has disrupted production of everything from cars to mobile phones and hit the manufacturing sector.

Xpeng expects its vehicle deliveries in the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31 to be between 20,000 and 21,000, about 49.7% to 52.1% lower than the 41,751 units delivered last year.

It also forecast a 40.4%-43.9% drop in fourth quarter revenue to between 4.8 billion yuan ($677.49 million) and 5.1 billion yuan.

"As we plan a number of upcoming product and technology rollouts, we are confident that we can achieve significant improvement in both sales volumes and average selling price," said He Xiaopeng, chairman and chief executive officer of Xpeng.

Net loss for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 was 2.38 billion yuan, compared with a loss of 1.59 billion yuan a year ago, it said in an exchange filing.

Cost of sales jumped 20.4% in the third quarter, while expenses related to research and development climbed 18.5%.

Hong Kong-listed shares of the company ended 16% higher in the Asia trading hours amid broader gains in the Chinese and Hong Kong markets on hopes that China might ease its strict COVID-19 measures after the recent public unrest in some of its cities. ($1 = 7.0950 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Himanshi Akhand and Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)