After traveling the world and retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Army, Leonard Zeller wanted to return to his roots, the Midwest. In 1976 he relocated from the Washington D.C. area to Lawrence, Kansas. After answering an ad in the Army Times about starting a battery specialist business, Len and Kathy (Len’s wife) formed The Electrolife Battery Co. Although the retail/wholesale battery store was a fairly new concept, Len saw the need for one in the Lawrence community. They rented a building, bought a pickup and opened their first store in December of 1976. The Zeller team called it, “The Battery Shop”.
With Len’s commitment to unequaled product quality and exceptional customer service, the business continued to grow. While Kathy ran the retail store, Len would drive a delivery truck on routes covering the surrounding counties. In 1979, Len opened a branch in Topeka. It was called “The Topeka Battery Co”. In 1981, to better serve the Lawrence community, the Lawrence branch was moved to the current location and re-named to Lawrence Battery Co.
Over the next several years Electrolife Battery grew very rapidly. Adding a second Topeka Battery branch in 1983. Expanding the route truck delivery service to the entire state of Kansas in 1984 after Electrolife was awarded the Kansas (state wide) Battery contract. Entered the Emporia, Kansas market in 1985 by purchasing controlling interest of Flint Hills Battery Inc. In 1987, the Electrolife Industrial Battery division was opened in Kansas City, Missouri, specializing in large steel case batteries for the material handling industry. In late 1997, Len purchased a thriving alternator/starter rebuild shop in Topeka, which focused on rebuilding and/or repairing commercial and agriculture starters, alternators and generators. In order to better serve the increasing number of branch lo-cations, in 1999, the Zellers broke ground on a 12000 square foot distribution center in Lawrence. In 2004, a second retail battery location was added in Kansas City, Missouri. Finally, late 2013 the most recent location was opened in Olathe Kansas.
Currently, Electrolife Battery is one of the premier battery distributors in the area. With nine locations, including a distribution center, six retail battery specialist stores, an industrial battery sales and service facility as well as a starter/alternator rebuild shop. In addition, Electrolife Battery’s route delivery service is now serving dealers in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Oklahoma.
Although they have both passed, Len and Kathy’s family will continue to carry on their philosophy of offering unequaled product quality with exceptional customer service. No matter what location you find yourself in you can be certain, that you will be greeted by a battery professional, who enjoys their job and wants to make you happy. Electrolife Battery is truly “Your Hometown Battery Store”.
Don’t get caught with your batteries down!