A cylinder-deactivation system now used in many General Motors gasoline-powered light trucks could be applied to commercial diesel trucks.
Tula Technology Inc. and diesel engine manufacturer Cummins plan to begin testing a six-cylinder semitruck diesel engine outfitted with a version of the technology, called Dynamic Skip Fire.
The system is being tested first on Cummins 6.7-liter inline turbo six X15 semi-truck engine. If testing yields positive results and it moves into production, the technology likely will appear on semitrucks.
There is also a path for commercializing the technology for diesel engines that are used in consumer pickup trucks.
The development is notable because it points in a different direction from most of the auto industry at the moment.
Powertrain programs around the world are currently focused on electrification strategies. The idea of applying Dynamic Skip Fire to commercial trucks suggests that automakers and truckmakers see future potential in working with…