A visitor inspects a Fisker electric car during the 83rd Geneva Motor Show on March 6, 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland. - 

The electric car company Fisker Automotive has laid off three quarters of its employees and reports suggest a bankruptcy filing is near. The Fisker Karma sports car can toggle between electric and gasoline-assisted power, but the company hasn't made one since last summer. Fisker's financial troubles are especially controversial because the company received federal subsidies, money that -- in retrospect -- doesn't seem well spent to some.

Slate tech writer Will Oremus joins Marketplace Tech host David Brancaccio to discuss Fisker and why its different from Tesla Motors.