What happened

Shares of VectoIQ Acquisition (NASDAQ:VTIQ) were rising sharply again on Wednesday morning, up 18.2% as of 10:45 a.m. EDT, as investor interest continued to be very strong ahead of its merger with electric-truck maker Nikola Motors.

VectoIQ's stock is up about 150% since the beginning of May.

VTIQ Chart

VTIQ data by YCharts.

So what

If you've been asking, "Why is this strangely named company's stock price soaring?" -- well, you're not alone. The good news for those of us who aren't quite sure how to pronounce "VectoIQ" is that the company's name is expected to change next month, when its planned merger with Nikola Motors is scheduled to close.

It's the chance to buy shares in Nikola that has auto investors excited about VectoIQ right now. Nikola has emerged from a crowded field of electric-vehicle start-ups as a serious and well-funded player.

A while Nikola One semi truck, parked in a garage and illuminated by blue light.

The Nikola One is a zero-emissions semi truck. Image source: Nikola Motors.

Nikola is developing two versions of its electric semi in parallel: One, using proprietary batteries developed in-house by Nikola, will go into production next year; the other, using hydrogen fuel cells, will follow about two years later.

As of early March, Nikola had more than 14,000 preorders for its electric semitrailers, representing over two years of production -- and over $10 billion in potential revenue.

Now what

The combined company -- to be called "Nikola Corporation" -- will use the proceeds of the transaction to begin construction of a factory in Arizona and of hydrogen refueling stations to support its fuel-cell trucks starting in 2023.

The transaction values Nikola at $3.3 billion. Given that VectoIQ's market cap was about $950 million as of 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday morning, the stock's run looks likely to continue for a while longer.

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