The Renault Clio has been shortlisted in a three-strong supermini category, while the Renault Scenic is up for the MPV category title and the Renault Fluence is one of three cars chosen in the future car category in the Next Green Car Awards 2011.
The nominations, says Next Green Car, is based on a green car rating taking in all air-based emissions and not just CO2 emissions, the industry standard for things such as road tax and the London congestion charge.
However, all cars will also be rated on innovation, driving experience, design and value for money in the awards.
In the supermini category, the Renault Clio 1.5-litre diesel Eco, which delivers CO2 emissions of 94g/km and a green rating of 27, is one of the lowest-scoring cars on the shortlists.
Meanwhile, the 1.6-litre diesel Renault Scenic, which features fuel-saving start-stop technology, will take on the Toyota Verso and Vauxhall Meriva in the MPV segment.
Finally, a new category for cars not yet available will see the all-electric Renault Fluence up against the Vauxhall Ampera and Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid in the awards.
However, the people behind the awards believe 2011 is the toughest year yet because of the influx of low-CO2 and more efficient cars in the UK.
Dr Ben Lane, Managing Editor of Next Green Car, explains: "2011 has already proved to be an exciting one for green cars with the launch of several high quality pure electric and hybrid models, the Plug-in Car Grant and many low emission petrol and diesels models under the ‘magic’ 100 gCO2/km threshold."
The awards look at seven different emissions across the entire lifetime of the vehicle, including things such as diesel particulates and NOx – two types of tailpipe emissions often overlooked in Europe.
The winners of the awards will be announced at the beginning of August.