The Phoenix company reported its loss shrank to 31 cents a share from 79 cents in the year-earlier quarter. Shares outstanding rose 45% to 377.7 million.
The adjusted loss was 16 cents against 44 cents. The company hasn't yet reported revenue.
A survey of analysts by FactSet produced consensus estimates of a GAAP net loss of 33 cents a share, or an adjusted 19 cents.
Nikola also said that it recently finished assembling the first model Tre prototype. During the quarter the company had said that it had begun assembling the first five of these vehicle prototypes.
At the end of the third quarter Nikola had $908 million of cash on the books.
Shares of Nikola rose 2% in after-hours trading to $19. The stock fell 4.85% in the regular session.