According to reports from America, Tesla Motors is laying off 100 staff, more than half of its workforce, as a result of the global financial crisis.

The fledgling electric car company’s CEO Ze’ev Drori is also said to be leaving.

Tesla – which has just launched its incredible Elise-based all-electric Roadster - had recently announced plans for a £143 million factory in San Jose.>>Read our first drive of the Tesla Roadster

The modern Silicon Valley firm is backed by substantial investors, including Elon Musk, who founded PayPal. In recent months, it’s been able to cherry-pick leading motor industry figures from the likes of Ford, Chrysler and Mazda.

But the lack of available credit, and Tesla’s expensive product proposition, could have stinted its growth. As yet there’s no official word from Tesla on the redundancies, we’ll bring you more news as we get it.