I'd also like to point out that many days I couldn't ride a regular bike a mile, at any speed.
Most days I couldn't carry a regular bike (even my pretty light Nishiki) 25 feet, much less up a flight of stairs (which I am pretty sure I could NEVER do nowadays). I'm just getting too much pain these days.
So it would certainly be unfair to use either of those criteria to classify something as a bike or not--it would mean that NO bike is a "bike" for some people, and they would require a license to ride ANYTHING. That's pretty silly.
FWIW, I'm only 44, but my bones and joints are painful all the time, and sometimes so bad I wish I could just lay in bed rather than move around and work--but I have to work because I'm not fat or lazy enough to qualify for disability in this state, and don't have any kids to qualify for any other kind of assistance.
I've done some really heavy work when there was no other choice, and pedalled even CrazyBike2 a couple of miles home, on good days. But it leaves me unable to do much of anything else afterward, and the pain is pretty incredible for days or even weeks.
I probably *could* ride a powerchair or a wheelchair to and from work and everywhere I go, but I'd be in far more danger of getting run over, or of heatstroke, or getting trapped somewhere with no ability to get the vehicle home, unlike with an ebike where I at least have the option to pedal it or walk it home...a powerchair is a LOT harder to push even with the clutches out (at least, the two I have here to try--they dont' feel like it at first, but after a few dozen feet they sure do, leaving me panting). A regular wheelchair could be pushed home, but pushing myself in one is far harder, as my hands and wrists are almost the worst-hurting joints, only exceeded by my knees, currently.
Maybe also require the rider to carry it up a flight of stairs. If it's too heavy to carry, it's not a bike.
If you can't pedal the thing a mile through your town's typical streets, it's not 'bike' enough to be an e-bike
When I first read this I thought you were just trying to be funny, but once again I disagree strongly with you Matty and hope you don't take an active part is establishing those types of laws.
I am 72 and use my 90 pound tadpole for exercise and enjoyment. I can easily lift either end, but not the whole trike. Likewise, I can pedal it for a mile on the flat and on moderate grades, but not up the 20 percent grade which is the only way back to my house. My 69 year old triking buddy, that doesn't want electric assist yet, can pedal his trike up to my house but usually hauls it up in his truck because one pedal trip up the hill on his 35# trike wipes him out. On the other hand he still often completes metric centuries.