a car parked in a parking lot: Driving an electric car in the U.S or U.K just got a whole lot easier.? Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images Driving an electric car in the U.S or U.K just got a whole lot easier.

                        Google Maps now can make one of the more irritating aspects of owning an electric car just a little bit easier. The service now only will allow users to search for electric vehicle charging stations in the U.S. and the U.K, but also will tell them if those chargers are currently occupied, which could save EV users valuable time and effort.

                        a close up of a map: Charging stations in Seattle, as seen on Google Maps.? Google Maps Charging stations in Seattle, as seen on Google Maps.

                        "If you’ve ever driven to an electric vehicle (EV) charging station only to find that all ports are occupied," Google product manager Alex Donaldson says in a blog post, "you know that you could end up waiting in line for anywhere between minutes to hours-which can really put a damper on your day when you have places to go and things to do."

                        a close up of a map: Charging station in the greater Dallas metropolitan area.? Google Maps Charging station in the greater Dallas metropolitan area.

                        Google Maps users can do a quick search for "ev charging stations," which will show the real-time availability of charging ports. Click on the charging location and the app will show how many stations there are available for use. There are also photos, reviews, and even a section for any questions one could have about a charging station.?

                        It's been a good couple of days for consumers interested in electric cars. In honor of Earth Day, the Sierra Club has updated its interactive guide to electric vehicles, which could help users find the electric car to match their needs. Searching for charging stations in Google Maps could provide another layer of information before making that final purchase.?

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