Shares of the Phoenix, Ariz. company were climbing 7.1% to $10.86 in early trading.
Nikola reported a net loss of $120.2 million, or 31 cents a share, compared with a loss of $33.1 million, or 12 cents a share, a year ago.
The adjusted loss came to 14 cents a share, beating the FactSet consensus for a loss of 27 cents. The company reported no revenue for the quarter.
"During the first quarter Nikola continued to deliver on our previously communicated milestones and execute on our business plan," CEO Mark Russell said in a statement. "We have had continued success in commissioning and validating the Nikola Tre BEVs, and are nearing completion of both our Ulm, Germany and Coolidge, Arizona manufacturing facilities."
Nikola said that during the first quarter it commissioned the first batch of five Nikola Tre battery-electric vehicles.
"As expected in a new program development cycle, we have had to overcome some component level delays which we have worked through with our suppliers to minimize the impact on the scheduled timeline," the company said.
Nikola said that next month it is looking to start vehicle trial production at the JV manufacturing facility at Iveco's industrial complex in Ulm, Germany.
In April, Nikola unveiled plans with Iveco and OGE to transport hydrogen from production sources to fueling stations that support fuel-cell elective vehicles.
On Thursday, Nikola said Total Transportation Services, one of Southern California's most prominent port trucking companies, signed a letter of intent to order 100 Class 8 battery and fuel-cell electric semi-trucks.
Last month, the company signed a deal under which it will open two hydrogen filling stations at California locations of truck-stop franchisor TravelCenters of America.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives in April nearly halved his share-price target for the electric-truck maker to $13 from $25, saying he had concerns about the execution and timing of Nikola's ambitious plans.