BORDERS College has become the first college in Scotland to deploy a fully electric utility-terrain vehichle (UTV).

The new HiSun Beast 4x4 UTV is available at the college's Newtown St Boswells campus and is open to use by staff and students.

The UTV can reach a top speed of 37 mph and will aid students in practical learning across a number of courses available on campus – including modern agriculture, service engineering, gamekeeping, and landscaping.

The 'Beast' was bought by the college as part of its bid to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

College Land-based Service Engineering Lecturer Dave Black, one of the staff instructing students on the safe use of the Beast, said: “As a college that always strives to be as sustainable as possible, we first came across the idea of an electric all-terrain vehicle (ATV) when we were delivering ATV training on Knoydart, and again on the Isle of Ghia, where both communities were starting to use electric ATVs.

“After evaluating and testing a number of electric options we found that the HiSun vehicle, supplied by local company Henderson Grass Machinery, Selkirk, met the needs of the College more than the others.”

With lithium-ion batteries, the Beast can run off a single charge for a full day, and the UTV won't require a battery change for five years.

The Scottish Farmer: The HiSun Beast UTV is suited for even the most challenging terrainThe HiSun Beast UTV is suited for even the most challenging terrain (Image: Borders Collge)

When compared with the cost of a standard diesel UTV, charging the Beast overnight will cost the college around £4. Whereas 20 litres of diesel would cost around £30.

Andrew Johnson, Rural Skills Development and Partnership Manager, said: “As part of our Sustainability Strategy, we are committed to working towards a more sustainable world and are constantly looking to reduce our carbon emissions.

"The purchase of the UTV is one way in which we can do this.

“In addition, by educating our students on the benefits of technologies like electric vehicles, the students are empowered and informed to become greater global citizens and become skilled, confident and qualified about the importance of the need for environmental change.”

The top-of-the-range UTV will help staff and students tackle difficult terrains during their working day.

Applications to land based courses at Borders College beginning in August this year are now open.

For more information, visit: